It’s World Breastfeeding Week and I thought I would share some positivity on this topic. We are nearly six-months into our breastfeeding journey and it has been everything I could have hoped for. That’s not to say there haven’t been a few bumps in the road but, it really has been a dream for me and I am super grateful as I know it unfortunately doesn’t come that easy for everyone.
Before I gave birth, I was really hoping and praying that I would be able to breastfeed. I so badly wanted to be able to have that experience. Not too long after my child came out of the womb he was inching his way to my breast to latch. It was seriously one of the most amazing things I’ve ever felt. How connected we both were from that moment and how instinctual a connection it is. That night in the hospital my boy was waking frequently, and the nurse suggested I give him some formula so that I could get some sleep… I was kind of hurt, did they not have faith that my baby would get what he needed from me? Why would they push it so quickly, he was only a few hours old?? I refused and continued to latch him around the clock. I noticed my left side hurt more than the right side when he latched. The next day, another nurse came in. The nurse had me hand express some colostrum and was surprised to see how much I could get. I would feed him and then give him some colostrum from a syringe, and that seemed to work well in the hospital before my supply fully came in and to meet his demanding feeding schedule. A little while later we were discharged from the hospital.
About two days later my supply came rushing in. It was a bit painful but bearable and he was feeding around the clock so my chest constantly felt like giant rocks. Everything was going well. He was happy, I was happy. I was enjoying this bonding experience with my baby and so grateful it was working out. However, a week after he was born we went for a check-up, and he had lost more than he was “supposed” to. They were a little concerned but agreed to see us back after a week to check his weight gain again. I forged ahead trying not to worry that my breast milk may be the issue. I was still having some pain in my left breast when feeding but the right was okay. The constant feeding continued. It wasn’t every three hours but more like every 20 min for that first little while. When we returned to the doctor the following week, he thankfully had gained a pound more than his birth weight and they were happy. Eventually, my supply started to regulate and he spaced out his feedings more.
He has been exclusively breastfed for nearly six months. He still is mostly, but we have introduced a few solids. My experience has been seriously ideal. The pain in my left breast eventually disappeared and I found the more I nursed on that side the less painful it became. He was a rather large baby at birth and has continued on that growth pattern and is currently sitting at about 20 pounds. I never expected I’d have a problem hoisting him up to my small chest but, sometimes it’s a bit of an issue and uncomfortable, especially in public, that, and he is now distracted very easily.
I love breastfeeding and I am so grateful I am able to soothe and nourish my child anytime and anywhere and I am especially grateful to be able to feed in a carrier as well. It has been a challenge that he doesn’t want to take a bottle for those times I want to leave for a little bit but, we are managing. I don’t have any desire to stop breastfeeding anytime soon. I am happy to be a human soother for a little while longer, these are precious moments.