My daughter just turned 12 weeks and she and I are still learning and enjoying the breastfeeding process. I returned to work when she was 10 weeks old, therefore I’m pumping twice a day at work and she is being bottle fed during the day. When I get home around 4-5:30 pm she smiles and cooes and starts pulling on my shirt and it makes me feel so special. My baby girl wants something that only I can give her; nursing is our special bonding time and it’s good for both of us.
I know that breastfeeding isn’t for everyone but for m baby and I, it was the right decision. Some of the pros of breastfeeding: it’s good for the baby and helps to reduce a baby’s chances of developing diabetes, obesity, ear infections and respiratory illness and many other illness. Breastfeeding is free, it helps with the mother’s weight loss, it’s convenient (you don’t have to carry or prepare bottles) and it’s great for the mother child bond.
When Elyssa was born, I didn’t get her to successfully latch until several hours after her arrival. I was determined not to give up and I didn’t want to give her formula unless it was absolutely necessary. I had lots of support from my husband, mother and a nurse name Sharon that I will never forget. I will never forget the joy and relief Elyssa and I both felt the moment she latched and began to receive everything she needed from me.
My husband and I took a breastfeeding class and therefore we were knowledgeable on the pros, cons, joys and challenges of breastfeeding. My mom breastfed and therefore I always wanted to too. Lack of knowledge and support are many women’s main reasons for not breastfeeding. I have been extremely blessed throughout this process because I also have a network of new mothers who are breastfeeding. I talk, text or Facebook with them weekly; we share tips, encourage one another and provide each other with support. Every nursing mother needs to know that she has other nursing mothers in her corner for the days that she feels like giving up or feels like what she’s doing isn’t working.
For the last three weeks I’ve been pumping at work and it’s been going well. The work days are busy but I make time to pump twice, once in the AM and once in the PM. I’ve been blessed to have a large supply of milk and never have had to worry about not being able to produce. I don’t take this for granted at all. I thank God often for giving me all that I need to provide Elyssa with all that she needs.
Another interesting thing about breastfeeding is locating an appropriate place to do it while your out and about. It definitely requires some planning but it can be done! Many establishments don’t have clean safe places for nursing mothers to care for their babies so at first I was nursing in bathrooms or my car until my friends gave me some helpful advice. One friend told me to nurse in dressing rooms at stores like Target, Wal-Mart or at the mall. One friend highly recommended that I get a nursing cover so that I could nurse her wherever and still feel covered. I stopped taking her to bathrooms and learned to feel comfortable nursing her under my pretty lavender and white nursing cover if I didn’t have a bottle with me. I’ve only nursed in public a few times, surprisingly I felt comfortable and Elyssa did very well. She’s older now and getting her to latch is usually not a struggle.
God has blessed my body to be able to produce what my baby needs. I LOVE nursing Elyssa. I look forward to coming home from work, nursing her and holding her close. I enjoy looking into her eyes and seeing how happy she is to see me and get nourishment from me. For me, breastfeeding does not hurt. Usually if it hurts it’s because she isn’t latched on correctly. Sometimes she gets worked up if she doesn’t latch on as quickly as she wants but I remain calm and I help her get situated so that she can latch comfortably and correctly. With her taking bottles now, it does help me to have other’s be able to feed her if I need to go somewhere or take a nap. Pumping and nursing is the best of both worlds because either way, she’s still getting her mommy’s milk!
Questions: Did you or do you plan to breastfeed your babies? Why or Why not? What were some joys and challenges that you faced? Do you have any questions about breastfeeding? If so, feel free to post them below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org