So I’m guessing we’ve all heard of “Breast is Best?” And I can’t agree more!!! Although my relationship with it is such a love-hate one. WebMD does an amazing job of providing us with the details to make a more informed choice. As stated on there, each mother and baby is unique so the choice is up to you; sometimes you may have to supplement in order to keep your job or sanity.
Anywho, I went in expecting that breastfeeding was suppose to come naturally to all babies…it’s a reflex right? Not the case with my first born. I started producing milk the same day I delivered but he did not latch. Not only did he not latch, he would cry as if in extreme pain every time I put him on the breast. He had no physical deformities that prevented him from latching, he just chose not to; he bottle fed fine. I had to pump and feed, pump and feed. It was tiring! Especially since babies eat every 2-3 hours for those first couple of weeks. I spoke with countless counselors from the La Leache League, saw a lactation consultant several times, did finger sucking exercises with him, bought him special pacifiers that work the necessary muscles to promote latching, tried breastfeeding in the nude with skin on skin, and tried all sorts of holds… til finally the 4th month, he started to latch. Praise God! By that time, I was tired of always pumping to feed, tired of washing all the pump parts and bottles, and tired of plugged milk ducts. I was trying to give him formula (which he spat out or would let dribble back out) — maybe that’s why he started to latch.
My current baby girl is a different story. She latched beautifully the first time I put her on the breast. Perfect every single time. I had no sore nipples, no nothing. I was dreaming of all sorts of possibilities and then we got home from the hospital and she just. would. not. bottlefeed!!! Any breastmilk whether thawed or fresh, if it was not in the boob, she was not drinking it… and she had a nasty way of spraying that message, literally. I tried everything and failed… so I attempted the starving method. She beat me out on that one too, the girl just stopped eating and lost weight and her blood sugar became low… I caved in. So now I am her personal milk machine! I can’t go anywhere without her since no one can feed her. My max hours being out is about 4 but currently can be extended since she is starting solids. I am starting to miss those days with my medela pump.
I feel like I cannot wait to wean her off and reclaim my body but I know weaning is also an emotionally difficult process. When I was weaning my son off, I felt like I was giving up something special that we shared. Breastfeeding was our time and it was a precious gift that I had worked so hard for and a precious entitlement to me as his mother. How was your breastfeeding journey and how did you make it through your weaning process?