Monday, October 17, 2011
baby steps: breastfeeding
With our first daughter, Aurora, I made the decision to breastfeed. It was a pretty easy decision to make finically it just seemed like the smart thing to do. Formula is crazy expensive and God created breast to feed children, it just made perfect sense to me.
In the beginning it was extremely difficult. It was uncomfortable and challenging to be up all night for feedings. Sometimes when I was up for what felt like the fiftieth time, I would throw things at my sleeping husband. I was so jealous that he got to sleep and I didn’t. At one point I even got an infection. One of my milk glands got so clogged it back up into my arm pit. I couldn’t even put my arm down. When I finally got the hang of it I went back to work. Pumping at work wasn’t easy. I think it had a lot to do with where I was working. A busy coffee shop isn’t really the best place for that kind of thing. It wasn’t the company or the people. I just couldn’t find time or a place to do it. Needless to say after three months my milk ran dry and was had to switch to formula. Aurora made the switch very easy. She was already using a bottle when even I was at work. I just felt guilty that I couldn’t make it work for longer.
I’m happy to say that breastfeeding Carolina has been much more successful. I think I’m much more confident this time around so it makes a huge difference. Also, I have no worries of heading back to work at this time and having to pump. It makes life that much easier. It is hard to do with a three year old running around. Aurora seems to always want something right when I start feeding Carolina. We’ve gotten a pretty good routine down now and the little one doesn’t stay latched on for nearly as long. I used to have to walk around carrying Carolina while she was feeding to help Aurora but she’s much too big for that now.
One thing I had a lot of trouble overcoming was breast feeding in public. I’m not talking about letting it all just hang out there either. I stay covered. I’m a pretty self conscious person. I feel uncomfortable showing too much skin to beginning with. I don’t even feel comfortable breast feeding in front of family. I’ve read horror stories about what people have had happen to them when they try and nurse in public. I didn’t think people could be so cruel and rude. I mean, this is a mother trying to feed her child. I can understand some people feeling uncomfortable if everything is just out there on display but still. It’s a part of nature. The mother is trying to do her best to keep she baby happy and healthy. It drives me crazy!
I’m very thankful for the support other breastfeeding mothers have given me. Maya, a friend and blogger has given me wonderful advice. Other mothers have also been very encouraging. There was an article on Hello Giggles that also really helped me. It really encouraged me to keep pushing through. It’s amazing the support that is out there. I’ve even mustarded up the courage to feed Carolina in a public place. I stay in a corner and stay covered and I haven’t had any problems and it’s so much less stressful for everyone.
So, if you are a breastfeeding mother know that you are not alone. It’s hard but you can push through it. You have a wonderful support system of mothers to help encourage you. Best wishes.