Milk for Thought ~Our breastfeeding Journey

Milk for Thought is a new online breastfeeding community ~connecting moms, giving information, and offering support. They came through Topeka, KS this past Sunday! I was one of the mom’s picked to talk about my breastfeeding journey! How exciting! How thrilling! How sick I was! I’m super sad I had to miss it, but still want to get the word out about it.

Man, I even practiced in front of the mirror (public speaking still scares me ~don’t judge me. haha).

Since I wasn’t able to be interviewed I wanted to share what I was going to say here. With you.

 

My breastfeeding journey didn’t start out easy, happy, or even in a peaceful environment, but after struggles and finding support we are still breastfeeding.

My son, Peter, was born by emergency c-section. While in recovery, I was told he had to have formula to stabilize his sugars. My husband gave Peter is first bottle, before I even saw him.

The first time I tried to breastfeed was so painful. Not his latch (thankfully that was good) but trying to lay him across my stomach, over the staples made me feel like I was going to die from the pain. I was shown the football hold and we started from there. Since Peter was given formula, his stomach was bigger than it should have been. I didn’t know this. I just thought I failed again. Not being able to give birth to my son, not being able to keep my son from being hungry.

We left the hospital with sugar water and formula, if needed. I would nurse Peter and supplement. Peter cluster fed at night. I would sit in my chair and nurse him for two hours. He wasn’t full, so we would supplement with an ounce. Then when he would wake up in the middle of the night, I would breastfeed him and we would again supplement. Then again during the day, if needed. The only reason why I didn’t quit then was the support of my husband, my mother, and my aunt. They did so many things for me at that time, so I could concentrate on breastfeeding, with bonding with Peter.

Day after day, I felt like I was failing. I wasn’t producing enough milk. When Peter was 6 months old we moved to another state, Topeka, KS. My sister-in-law wanted to go to a La Leche League meeting (LLL) and wanted it know if I would go with her (her son is a month younger than Peter).

I was still supplementing Peter, now up to 4 ounces, two or three times a day. When I went to the first La Leche League meeting, I told the highlights of our story. The leaders of the meeting cried with me, helping me understand ~what happened to me was wrong, it shouldn’t have happen. Then they armed me with the knowledge to fight and find courage to continue breastfeeding. Within a month I was able to stop supplementing. Yes, it was tough. Yes tears were still cried. It was hard, but I did it. We did it.

There were still ups and downs, but never as low as before. Peter and I successfully breastfed, we did it. He’s 28 months and he’s still breastfeeding. We still go to LLL meetings. He’s in the process of weaning and I’m okay with it. At one time I didn’t know if we would get through the day, but we did.

I thought breastfeeding was going to be easy and naturally going to happen. It can. I encourage all pregnant mothers to go to LLL meeting before they give birth. Get information before hand, have the knowledge I was given before you actually need it. Just because breastfeeding is natural, doesn’t mean it will be easy.

Peter and I would not be still breastfeeding without the support I found in the Mothers who are the LLL leaders, and I would still feel like a failure. I know now I’m not, and I know now I can do it. The healing I received from being successful breastfeeding is almost indescribable. I encourage any mothers who had a traumatic birth, and because of that, trouble breastfeeding, to find help. There are mothers out there willing to help! I did it, and so can you.

To find your nearest La Leche League you can go to: www.LLLI.org

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