1. Why did you decide to breastfeed?
I decided to breastfeed for the same reasons many moms decide: I’ve read that it is better for the baby, good for the mom, and great for the wallet.
I’m not going to lie– a large portion of it was in hopes that I would lose any baby weight I gained. I’ve had weight problems for years and I’d heard that women lose a ton of weight while breastfeeding. By the by… for me that rumor was true. I just didn’t realize that after I stopped breastfeeding I’d gain weight so quickly. Bugger.
While I have read everywhere that “breast is best” I was never entirely convinced that it was the only option that would benefit my child. I was a formula baby and (not bragging) I have a high IQ, was a healthy child (my adult health issues are mostly due to poor eating/drinking decisions), and NO ALLERGIES! Do I feel that it is natural and that we were made this way? Yes. Do I feel like it is the only responsible option for a woman? NO. In retrospect I’ve come to realize that a lot of a woman’s mental state in those first few months are very important to the baby. I’m not saying give up if breast feeding is hard. I’m saying, if you end up choosing to do something else because you feel like it is best for your mental/physical well-being, then THAT is what is best for you and your babe. I’m not a doctor. I’m a mom.
Breastfeeding is SO much cheaper than formula. As much as we tried to prepare for the costs of a baby, we were no where near ready. Being able to feed my child whenever he needed it, no matter the circumstances, was important for me.
2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding?
Looking back I realize that I had it fairly easy while breastfeeding. At the time I felt like my world was ending. But, it was heaps better than some of the problems people are faced with! I didn’t experience cracked nipples or extreme pain. Here are some of the problems (and solutions) we did experience though:
— The beginning was rough for us. I couldn’t get a hold that would great for me and my son. The nurses at our hospital were all trained in the area and helped me a ton those first two days. They helped him get a latch. At the hospital we found out that my son has a bit of a high palette so his latch was pretty painful for me. I had blisters that first day, but they were gone the next day and we had the latch down by the time we left the hospital.
— We made it through our entire hospital visit without the use of a pacifier. I had read that it is better for latch if your baby doesn’t use one. After about two hours of screaming at home we caved and found the pacifier sent home from the hospital. Even though he did end up using pacifiers for a bit during his babyhood… X liked to suck on our fingers when he needed soothed.
—The day we got home from the hospital feedings went fine. That night and next day however was horrible. It was like we had forgotten everything! I couldn’t feed my son and he was SO upset. My hormones were ALL over the place. It was a bad situation.
I remember going into the doctor’s office and meeting my lactation consultant. I was there for a different appointment and she just recognized our name as one of her future appointments and wanted to say hi. As soon as she said who she was I started bawling in the middle of the doctor’s office waiting room.
“I need you SO bad!!” I bawled.
She calmed me down and explained that she was booked for the day, but would let me doctor know I needed a little help. The pediatrician helped my son and I relearn the latch and begin doing the “football” hold. It was a lifesaver. I will always feel thankful for those two women.
A week later, when I met with the lactation consultant, my son and I had breastfeeding down and he had gained 4 oz!
— My son screamed solidly for two months. If he wasn’t eating or sleeping he was screaming. And, sometimes, he was screaming while eating or sleeping. I brought him to the pediatrician so many times. We tried EVERYTHING. Finally, I had to take out all dairy from my diet and my son was put on antacids for reflux. After three weeks of no dairy and antacids it was like we had a different baby. He was happy, more relaxed.
3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment?
Ahh… so many! I loved the way my son rested his face on his hand when he ate. I loved when he looked up into my eyes with such love.
Some of my greatest moments were so simple and sweet.
However… I am super proud that I could breastfeed while walking (not something I did often, but at times needed to do) and in the bath!
Check back tomorrow for part two of my breastfeeding experience. Thank you for reading!