Warning! This post is about breastfeeding. It can be a sensitive and sometimes controversial topic. I am not against formula feeding Mommas. I got formula as a baby and look how great I turned out! ;) In all seriousness though, this is a post to document my journey. Breast was best...for us! I realize it is not best for everyone. If you have something you want to talk about, feel free to comment or send me a private email!
During my pregnancy, I thought a lot about breastfeeding. I knew it was something I wanted to try. When I first got pregnant, I told people I was going to "at least try" to breastfeed. I figured if it worked, great. If not, no big deal! As I progressed in my pregnancy and started researching, I started to change my viewpoint. I decided I would do a little more than try. I would try hard. I read books. I visited online forums. I read information online. I took breastfeeding classes. I decided not to set a goal for myself. Just like most people, I hate to fail. I didn't want to set a goal and become devastated with myself when I didn't reach the goal. I knew breastfeeding was hard and I had no idea if it was going to work for us.
Fast forward to May 18, 2012. My nurses all knew that I was planning on breastfeeding and I wanted to have as much skin to skin time as possible (and right away). They were great and as soon as my son was born, onto my chest he went:
My son rooted and tried to latch right away. I was ecstatic! Maybe this would be easier than I thought! During my time in the hospital, breastfeeding was not easy. After that initial latch, Carson didn't latch so easily. He also wouldn't stay latched. I cried. I thought I was starving my son. I didn't want to give into formula because it was too easy. The hospital was very busy and it took a while to meet with a lactation consultant. Luckily my nurses were all very helpful and knowledgeable and helped me try different positions. My milk hadn't come in and all I remember is being told that Carson had lost weight. I felt like a failure!
When we arrived home, my milk arrived as well. (Whoa, huge boobs!) I was hoping this would help solve the problem but we still had some issues. I was getting engorged which was making it hard for my son to latch. Eventually I figured out a method that worked for us and everything was smooth sailing!
|Cluster feeding throughout the night = we're both tired!|
Since everything was going so well, I decided I would try to set a small goal for myself. I would try to breastfeed for at least 3 months. Once I got to that 3 month mark, I would reevaluate. Guess what? We made it to 3 months!
Enter Fenugreek. I heard about this through my Mommy group and it was a lifesaver. I took 3 pills 3 times a day and basically smelled like I was sweating maple syrup. It was gross. BUT, it brought my supply back up! (Chugging water 24/7 also helped me.)
Carson was exclusively breastfed from the time he was born until he was 5.5 months old. At 5.5 months we tried some rice cereal with him and he didn't like it. We waited until 6 months to reevaluate and decided to try oatmeal. He loved the oatmeal and a few weeks later we started [pureed] solids. He continued with breastmilk until about 13 months when we started whole milk in straw sippies. Once he started whole milk he continued to nurse about 4 times a day. Eventually he weaned himself down to twice a day - mornings and evenings. By the time he was 17 months he quit asking to nurse in the morning and would only nurse before bed. (Not to sleep, just as part of our routine.) I'm happy to say that he self weaned right before his 18 month birthday. I'm glad I didn't have to take away something that he loved so much!
If you're pregnant and planning on breastfeeding, make sure to have some resources before you start your nursing journey. My hopsital had a breastfeeding group that met weekly with a lactaction consultant as well as a hotline you could call at any time! KellyMom was basically my breastfeeding bible...I can't begin to describe the amount of great information you'll find over there!