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Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Breastfeeding Post

ok, I promised Jen over at baby makin machine that I would write a post about breastfeeding today- so here it goes!

When I got pregnant I knew I was going to have to take any route I could to do it as cheaply as possible. This ment researching cloth diapers, breastfeeding, making my own baby food ect. When it came to the cloth diapers, I knew I could make those easy enough. And how hard is it to mash a banana with a fork- But the whole breastfeeding thing kind of freaked me out! I signed up for a class on it and learned a lot of information, but I learned something that I have come back to multiple times in the past 18 months- no amount of reading can prepare you for anything! Our teacher for the breastfeeding class as well as the prenatal class was amazing. She assured us that anything was possible and that even if it wasnt possible for us, we would eb glad we tried and not feel bad about it- I didnt take this to heart though- I didnt have a choice, I HAD to make it work!

So the day came, my daughter was born and after what seemed like forever they gave her to me. I wasnt sure about this whole thing, but when my smiling prenatal class teacher came running into the room I felt a little better. She is a GREAT lactation consultant and taught me, with my prop this time, the basics of latching, holds and so on. Turns out there were some issues and she brought me in a nipple shield which seemed to help and the baby took to it very quick!

No matter how many times they tell you, you arnt prepared for the fact that your milk doesnt come in for a few days. I was distraught that my baby was starving and asked for some help. We were given a little siringe with a bottle of formula that you were suposed to slip under the nipple shield and push the formula into the baby's mouth as they suck. Obviosly this is a two person job. DH still thinks his involvement in this procedure was pretty neat and still goes on about how he had to get up in the middle of the night to get the formula and siringe. (yeah like what 3 times total?!?) Anyway, once the milk came in it was smooth sailing from there! I really enjoyed breastfeeding but was too scared to go at it without the shield. It took me almost 4 months to get rid of that thing! In fact, when DD was hospitalized when she was 8 days old I had forgotten the shield and when the lactation consultant called and happened to come see us in the hospital she gave me a new one- making it easier to at least have one with me! But it was SUCH a pain!

It took me a whole week, longer because I would only try for a few seconds for the girst month, but a solid week of trying consistently to get her to feed without the shield and it was GLORIOUS! I sure wanted to take back the promise that I made to DH that if I had to use one of those things to be able to breastfeed it was worth it!

Since then things have been smooth sailing! DD learned how to sign milk and it was so cute to be able to tell what she wanted instead of just screaming!

We are now to a new stage of our lives- the wheening. DH has been saying for months now that when DD turns 18 months old she would not be nursing or taking a binki anymore. I have been trying to get myself used to this fact for months now. I agree, she is old enough to be a big girl now, but it is still bitter sweet.

This morning the baby woke up and came and layed in bed with us. She was signing milk and saying milk and lifting up the blanket, and trying to find the bottom of my shirt and moving my hand onto the blanket and ect ect. Then when I said no and that she was a big girl now she really lost it. But I can say it has been 2 days and I think everything will be ok, distraction, distraction, distraction! lol

So here we are, from begining to end. I LOVE breastfeeding, I have had a great experience so far and hope to be able to do so with all my future children! I know it is the best for my babies and it helps me to feel like I am doing something for her that no one else can! One of my reasons for going so long is that I still dont think she is getting enough nutrition durring the day, but I think it is time for us to move on! So wish us luck!

I would love to read your experiences with breastfeeding, good or bad, or non existant. Please leave me a comment with a link so I can take a look!


  1. Neither my mom or my mil breastfed their kids - formula was best in the 60s or so people said, so when I breastfed all my kids it was kinda a shock. They just didn't get why I would want to do it. Well, my reasons were pretty practical, aside from the superior nutrition, it was FREE and it was ALWAYS on hand when I needed it - no heating, no cleaning bottles, no carrying extra stuff around in an already packed diaper bag, etc. So, I guess that makes me lazy and cheap :)

  2. YAY...good going girl! I've had no experience with a breast shield, but I did have the hospital trying to make us use the little syringe and tubing with formula the instant she showed any sign of weight loss. We agreed for two days because we didn't know what else to do. Of course, now we know that all babies lose significant weight in their first few days after birth. So with our second and third babies, we just kept going with the breast and my milk came in faster than before. So I'm so glad you stuck with it. Many people give up at the first sign of work. But it gets easier and easier. I recently came across a whole box full of bottles, liners, and other stuff that I didn't need. The one time I did need them was when I was pumping breast milk for another newborn baby whose mom had to have a double mastectomy. That was such an amazing experience and I'll be blogging about it in the next couple weeks in honor of National Breastfeeding Month.

    It's really none of my business, but I'm just a little curious why your DH doesn't believe in breastfeeding beyond 18 months. It sounds like you've instinctively had difficulty adjusting to the idea, so I just had to ask. For our first babies, I'm sad to admit that I, too, weaned before two years. But after coming across so much information on the life-long nutritional benefits of extended breastfeeding, I hope to go well beyond 2 years with our third baby even if it's just a small nurse 2 or 3 times a day. At first I would have old fashioned, uninformed doctors looking at me like I was crazy for going beyond a year. But lately, as more medical personal are seeing the studies and weighing the benefits of extended breastfeeding while comparing our cultural expectations to other cultures, I'm finding more openness to the idea of breastfeeding a 2 to 3 year old toddler and sometimes beyond.

    Wow, I sure wrote a lot. Sorry 'bout that. LOL

    Have a great week!


  3. I tagged you in a 6 things meme

  4. my daughter was 3 months early and too small to breast feed
    so i had the luck of using a (seemed like hydrolick) breast pump for 6 months so she could have my milk
    gheesh it was hard to do and i cried all the time from it

  5. Josie,

    I think this is a fun topic for discussion... I hoenstly always KNEW I would breatfeed, I remember growing up with my mom brestfeeding my brother... since we are 8 years apart, and my sister breastfeeding both her first two kids which lived with us most of the time. So I saw and kinda felt like I knew what I was doing.. I did have a few bumps in the road as well like getting A to latch onto both sides... she always favored a side and I had to do the football hold for a while on the opposite side to get her to take that side. Also she slept through the nights at the hospital and when we could go to the nursery and try to breastfeed we couldn't even wake her long enough to nurse... so it was frusterating and that's when i had to use my pump to make sure the milk ever came in. But I loved every min. of it, I saw delight in Chris' eyes when he could feed her from a bottle when we had to try formula for allergies or when I had pumped (which I hate p.s.) but its so special the bond you get to share and the closness and cuddling you get. I hope I can nurse all my kids.. and we shall see when the next one comes what age I will wean since I don't plan on having a vacation planned that I need to wean for, AND the lactation specialist told me to make a goal and to just try for it... my goal was AT LEAST 1yr old... and I made it and "A" was weaning herself at that point... Good and bad, it made it easier on me to wean... but sad because she was still SO little.

    Goodluck, let me know if you need to scream or cry. Cause I know it's sad..


  6. I will admit that my kids were bottle fed. I just did not get milk in EVER. Wierd huh?? The doctors were puzzled also. I pumped, did it all, but alas, nothing. Even when Mason was in teh ICU and I was 100 miles away I wanted to give him milk, but nothing came in again even with pumping. So Even though I wish that I could have, I didn't, and my kids ahve all turned out okay, but I missed that ultra-special bond from brest feeding. One positive side is that my hubby got to "share" feeding the baby at night.

  7. I do not have a link but I was happy when I did it. I was said after she turned one it was all over and I was sad on that day. I am glad I did it and would do it again.

  8. Great post! It was kind of bitter sweet for me too when I had to wean Rachel. I loved breastfeeding her. It is definitely a special bonding experience.

  9. This is such an awesome story!!! I can totally relate as I too had a bit of difficulty in the beginning, when breastfeeding DS, but once we figured it out and got the "hang of it", enjoyed a really rewarding breastfeeding relationship. It's so worth the hard work, isnt it? Great post!


  10. Wow! what a great story! I love reading about relationships moms build with their babies while breastfeeding! Weening is a WHOLE nother story! haha. I hope it's not too hard for me (Feeding) and that we can do it for awhile, though I imagine it won't be super long since I'll have to go back to work. I can't wait to experience that bond! Thanks so much for sharing this post! I linked to it on my blog! :)

  11. Good for you for sticking it out. I am so happy I kept with it, and I have no immediate plans to wean (my daughter's 11mths).

    I'd love to know how you worked with your daughter on signing! I want to do the same, but I'm not sure where to start. I guess my problem is that I can't think of any signs to use!

  12. After my best friend breastfed her baby and I saw how it was done, I was inspired to BF my own child when the time came. Well, my boyfriend got me pregnant (demanded I get an abortion or give the baby up for adoption even though I was 24 and he was 32 and were both college graduates), left me and then moved three hours away. It was fine, I could do it on my own and I was even more determined to feed this baby and have the best bond with her I could (not to mention saving loads on formula!).

    Well, my ex decided he did want to be a dad after all when the baby was born and hit me with papers demanding custody (coincidentally right before I left for the hospital to have her). Why he thought he deserved sole custody, I'll never know. After he found out he could only get every other weekend at best, he demanded I either pump enough milk for entire weekend visits or switch her to formula. I explained that wasn't possible for me to provide that much milk and he told me to "GO BUY A PUMP!" I had one I used for work, but it didn't drain my breasts half as well as my daughter did herself. I offered to take her to visit him for weekends, but stay close by in town so I could come feed her when needed. He wouldn't entertain that thought for a minute though.

    We ended up in a lengthy court battle over my right to breastfeed my daughter. I brought in a psychologist who also happens to be an expert in breastfeeding. Not only did she testify to breastfeeding's benefits, she also told how harmful it would be to take a baby away from its primary caretaker for that amount of time, even if the child was formula fed. I had to explain to a courtroom full of men how I could not simply "pump for a weekend". I had to go into graphic explanation as to why my breasts were not like a water faucet and could just dump out gallons of milk on demand. The expert also told the court how harmful it would be to wean my daughter before she was ready.

    I would have liked weekend visitation to be established after my daughter weaned herself. Ultimately, my ex boyfriend was given gradually increased visitation. He got her for 6 hours a week for a few months, then it turned into a full day, then overnights, then weekends. In the end, the court-imposed visitation did end my breastfeeding before we were ready because I just couldn't keep up any milk supply pumping for an entire weekend. My daughter was about 20 months old and was not ready to wean, but there was just no milk there for her. It was sad for me and I wished we could have made it a little longer. She enjoyed nursing so much and it was the one way I could always comfort her after a long day away, shots, or a busted lip. I am grateful to the judge though for giving us the time he did and not starting weekend visitation as soon as she was born.

    Before weaning, my daughter had never thrown up or had diharrea and shortly thereafter, she got her first virus, which was miserable for me to watch. I guess you can't protect them forever, but I'm so glad I fought for her best interests and for her right to be breastfed. I hope the milk I gave her will make her a healthier person throughout her lifetime and protect her from cancer, obesity, diabetes and more.


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