So one of the things I am most passionate about is breastfeeding. During my pregnancy I read lots of books and spoke with people about breastfeeding. I had no idea how challenging and rewarding my breastfeeding journey would be.
Starting out it was very painful. Cracked, bleeding, sore nipples. Lanolin was my best friend. And then there’s the uncertainty “should I wake her up to eat?” “is she getting enough milk?” On my newborn’s 2 day weight check, her pediatrician recommended supplementing 1 oz of formula after nursing to help rid of her jaundice. I made the decision not to do this. I just nursed as much as she wanted, I did not let her go more than 4 hours without eating, to establish my milk supply.
In the beginning I literally took things day by day. There were many times when I wanted to give up and I was incredibly frustrated. But I persevered for my daughter. I kept reminding myself that this is nature’s design. Both she and I were learning. And it got easier. At night she would wake and I would nurse her and then she would go right back to sleep. The best thing I discovered was mastering lying down while nursing. It was so wonderful for the both of us and we did it every morning. It is so amazing to drift off to sleep while nursing.
- My original goal for breastfeeding was 6 months. As I approached that date my heart is told me different. So we kept going until I felt it’s okay to stop. I have read about baby led weaning, and that’s what happened. Around 11 months, I started working again, baby was eating solids and nursing maybe 4 times a day. I took expressed milk to her daycare and she had that at lunch. She literally became less interested in breastfeeding and my milk gradually dried up. She didn’t even ask, sign, or even seem to want to nurse. I was unprepared for a sense of sadness when she stopped. Soon after I discovered I was pregnant again, so I am currently nursing my second baby.
When I nurse I get this great sense of relaxation and joy. I know that my baby loves it and it is the best thing in the world for her. My wish is to have a breastfeeding revolution in this country. I want to be a “breast ambassador” for my friends who are having babies and encourage them to breastfeed.
some resources I want to share that were helpful to me on my breastfeeding journey:
- Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding.- an amazing book by an icon in the world of midwifery and women’s health
- The Nursing Mother’s Companion-a great book for quick questions and very comprehensive
- Kellymom.com-I used this a lot to cross reference whether certain medications were okay to take while nursing. There are also many articles on breastfeeding.