No this isn’t a post about baseball… although I am sure there have been as many heated discussions about this topic as there have been between Yankees and Red Sox fans. Friends, I am talking about breastfeeding. Since getting pregnant in 2009, and then having my little man in 2010, it has been quite the journey in learning about birth and baby. I can honestly say that I have learned more in the last year and 10 months than I had in the years I spent in school. One of the things that I have learned and become quite passionate about is breastfeeding. Here is my journey and where I stand…
Rewind to about 2006. My best friend just had twins… twins!!!! Her husband was deployed to Iraq and they were stationed about 4 hours from family. Now I will preface this to say that she is hard-headed and persistent (yes, I know you are reading this lol). She set her mind to nursing these babies, and that’s just what she did. While visiting her and the little ones, I discovered a couple of things: 1. milk doesn’t come out of a woman’s nipple like it does a bottle (hey, I really had never known anyone who nursed before!) 2. It is difficult to nurse, especially twins after a C-section 3. Having a new baby is hard work!!
Now, fast forward to the day I had Ashton…I had no clue what I was doing. I had read the books, I had attended the Le Leche League meetings, I had demonstrations from my friend with her little one. But man, this was seriously tougher than anything I had done before. We had a rough time of it in the hospital, even after some great lactation consultants spent some time with us. But I am happy to say that after we came home, it wasn’t 3 days before we had the knack of it. I was so unprepared for what was to come…simply because I had never been educated. This wasn’t the norm. I set my mind to it though, and as far as I was concerned, we were nursing and that was that. I should also note that I am so thankful that I was able to nurse, as there are those cases that a woman just can’t, regardless of everything that can be tried to make it work. My heart goes out to those women.
I have spent countless hours on the couch cluster-nursing (a term I didn’t even know existed), leaked on my clothes, been sprayed, have had to adjust my wardrobe to all nursing friendly clothes. I have had to sit in cold and hot cars to nurse(which is absurd, but that is for another post). I have spent nights with a baby latched on for long periods of time, fed every 2 hours for the longest time, not getting an hour reprieve until he was about 5 months old… then it was every 3 hours lol. Breastmilk is produced in a very simple supply/demand fashion…if you don’t empty it all out, your body doesn’t know that you need all of it, so it stops making it. On the flip side, if you empty them out, and still need more, your body will compensate and make what is needed(that’s what the cluster-nursing is all about). Now, all that to say… I wouldn’t trade it for the world!!! Because here is what else I have gained by nursing my little one – free food made to order for my baby. A wonderful bond with my little one. The piece of mind to know that I did all that I could for my little one to give him the best chance of having a healthy life.
I can tell you that being able to nurse my little guy through these molars he is trying to get has been a lifesaver… for both of us!! There is just nothing like it, the amount of comfort he receives from nursing when he is in pain and unhappy. I have definitely turned the corner from a “wow, is that how you do it?” kinda person to an “oh yea, I wouldn’t do it any other way”. Feel free to weigh in with your experiences… good or bad!