Well, World Breastfeeding Week just ended a couple of days ago, and I wanted to share my breastfeeding story in its entirety here on Pea of Sweetness. As you may remember I did a guest post over at Mom to Bed by 8 and posted a little snippet here as well. I wanted to make sure I shared a little of my story here as well in honor of World Breastfeeding Week albeit I’m a little late! haha So without further adieu – here it is!
I had three VERY different breastfeeding experiences, and if there is anything I’ve learned from parenting it’s that there’s no “one size fits all.”
With our oldest son everything I had planned just didn’t happen – the natural birth, the breastfeeding, even attachment parenting wasn’t working for us. You see, he was delivered by emergency C-Section after 11 hours of completely unmedicated labor realizing his head had disengaged and was toward my hip. We later discovered he had a very short umbilical cord, which is why he had “bungeed” back. My body was exhausted from the labor and the C-Section. I tried SO hard to breastfeed him, but it just wasn’t working out. I had hardly any support (not even from the hospital), a lot of pain, and to top it off, my body just wasn’t producing milk! At 2 weeks I switched over to formula. I couldn’t even pump because I wasn’t producing any milk. I was heartbroken, but I knew I had to move on and be the best mom I could be and not dwell on it!
By the time we had our daughter I had done a lot more research, got in touch with other breastfeeding moms, and connected with my local La Leche League before I had her. I actually had support from the hospital and lactation consultants there as well. It didn’t go as I expected, though, as she was taken to the Special Care Nursery after they discovered she had low blood sugar. I was brought a pump and told I couldn’t nurse her. It was awful. Eventually they let me nurse her but still required a bottle after, so the experience was still frustrating overall. I did learn a lot from the lactation consultants like the fact that I was doing the latch all wrong the first time! You should lead with their chin. It really is so much easier to have in-person help!
The next 2 months of breastfeeding our daughter were trying. She was into a routine of having a bottle as well that we had to work to break the routine of nurse, bottle, pump because I was exhausted! Eventually, it all worked out! We had a few set backs here and there – thrush and mastitis. She self weaned at 18 months, though!
When our youngest son arrived, I was ready to tackle breastfeeding head on and they say “third time is a charm,” right? Well, we did start with a hiccup. He had to go to NICU after an apnea episode, and he wasn’t even able to suckle at all. In fact, he wouldn’t even latch. This also meant he wouldn’t take a bottle, either, which in this case turned out to be good. In fact, they assured me babies don’t need that much in the first 24 hours. After his first night in the NICU I tried again, and it was like he had “woken up.” He was just ready to go and nursed like a champ! *Update 1/6/13* He nursed until he was 2 1/2! So the third time really was a charm for us!
Sometimes breastfeeding relationships improve over time, but sometimes they don’t. One factor remains – all babies are different. All moms are different, too. Some won’t latch well and need more work, some will latch great from the start. Ours just happened to progress that way. There are definitely a few things I wish I had known when I started off my journey. Be sure to check out my full Breastfeeding Story on Mom to Bed by 8 for the full scoop!