To kick of World Breastfeeding Week I’ve teamed up the girls over at My Jordanian Nugget, Granolaish and Thank You Ma’am for a $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! You’ve got 9 chances to enter, so get those fingers moving!
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I figured this would also be a good opportunity for me to talk about my breastfeeing journey thus far. We’re four and a half months in and it’s going really well. Safe to say I love it. While it can be overwhelming that Adelaide’s every meal comes from me, it’s also such an amazing feeling to know that I made this perfect little baby, I birthed her and now I am sustaining her every need.
But it certainly hasn’t been easy.
The first week flew by and I thought things were going really well. And then the excruciating pain started. I was in so much pain I couldn’t let fabric touch my skin. I cried every time she wanted to feed. Which was all the time. My pediatrician said absolutely no pacifiers so that she didn’t get nipple confusion, but all Adelaide wanted to do was suck.
On her one week birthday I called my Bradley instructor sobbing. She referred me to a lactation consultant who thankfully came out to see me the next morning. She immediately recognized that Adelaide had a bad latch, which was causing all of my pain.
It took six weeks for me to heal. SIX WEEKS. I thought the pain would never end. How could I heal when my baby needed to nurse every hour? Through tears one day I told Jon that breastfeeding was harder than giving birth naturally, and I meant it.
I remember talking to my sister, who had also experienced a bad latch and she told me I was doing a great job. She encouraged me so much, and those words meant the world to me. Now whenever I talk to a new mom I try to be generous with my words as well. They mean everything.
But finally, miraculously, one day the pain stopped. I had finally healed. By six weeks Adelaide and I had turned a major corner. She was starting to smile, which gave me such a needed boost. Our breastfeeding relationship was becoming enjoyable.
Since I don’t pump bottles I’ve had to learn to breastfeed her in public. Sometimes I’d rather not, and sometimes I feel so empowered feeding her. I’m feeding my child. It’s normal, it’s natural. I try to remember that I’m not forced to eat my meals in the stalls of a public bathroom, so neither should my daughter. I can normally sneak away and find somewhere private, but sometimes there isn’t anywhere to go. And a kids gotta eat.
I’ve been so lucky that I have a good supply, that my pediatrician never forced formula on us, that Adelaide took well to breastfeeding. I truly believe that a happy mama leads to a happy baby, so whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed, I support you.
Hugs to all the mamas out there. You’re doing an awesome job.