Happy World Breastfeeding Week! I am passionate about breastfeeding and feel breast is best. I know some women can not breastfeed and I in no way look down at them, we are all trying our best! To me breastfeeding is a pure, magical, loving time between just me and my daughter. I can shut out the world, look into her eyes and nothing else seems to matter. Breastmilk IS vegan and provides baby with a strong start no matter how long you do it for. My goal is to go as long as my baby wants and allow her to self wean. All around the world, this is how it is done. In other countries women aren't shamed for feeding their babies in public because they are doing just that, FEEDING THEIR BABIES! It's not about you, please don't make it that way. It's about fulfilling our baby's needs, no matter where that may be. If you support a breastfeeding mother, let her know! So many times we are shamed in public or made to feel uncomfortable. Whenever I see a mom nursing in public, I go right up to her and tell her to keep up the good work. You have no idea, how relieved the mother will look after. Breastfeeding is natural and is what our breasts are made for.
Nursing Baby S just the other day
Breastfeeding Little A was a 3 year journey. We had a rough start but not in the usual way. Little A was in NICU for swallowing meconium during her emergency csection. I didn't get to see or hold her (besides for 5 minutes after she was born) for almost 2 days, I was so upset about her birth, but I never thought we wouldn't be able to breastfeed, and really I beat all the odds. I had to pump for her which in turn could of prevented her from being able to latch. Once I held her and got her on my breast, she latched perfectly. I have to say that was the only bright side to her being in NICU, I had lots of nurses around to make sure we were doing it right. Little A loved "nursies" right up until we had to wean. I had scheduled my surgery to be done ASAP and I was still in the process of weaning her, it was 2 weeks before her 3rd birthday. Because of the extent of my surgery and the pain meds I would be on, plus my long hospital stay, I thought it would be better to wean her right away. She wasn't a fan of weaning so fast and it broke my heart. But it was the end of our journey, the chapter was closing and the time had come. She still did a few rituals that she did while nursing even after we weaned. That definitely helped the situation.
3 years ago nursing Little A at almost 3 years old
Baby S was a different kind of difficult. While I had a beautiful, perfect csection with zero issues, Baby S was not an easy latch. She slipped off a lot on and off for the first few months. I nursed her right in the recovery room and she slept on me in the hospital, but she still had some issues latching. Baby S is also what they call "a distracted baby" and still is. So we needed to be alone, in total quiet for her to get a full feeding. She was always concerned with what Little A was doing and as soon and she heard her voice she would pull off and look all around for her. My pediatrician at the time (I have switched to a new doctor since), wanted me to start solids at 3 months because she was distracted and on the smaller side. I pushed through and nursed her as much as possible, we spent a lot of time in bed so she would get the most out of feeding. She ended up gaining more each month and we held off of solids until 8 months (same with Little A). We are still going strong at 12 months.
Breastfeeding Baby S at almost 3 weeks old
Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I have ever done. The beginning is exhausting and painful but well worth it. Once you get over that tough hump, the bliss doesn't stop "flowing", pun intended. ;) I highly suggest speaking or visiting with a lactation consultant if you are having issues. Most hospitals have them on staff for new moms and you can find one that makes home visits if you need (and insurance may even cover). I also want to mention that we "sleep nurse" and I always nursed on demand, with no schedule. This has made a world of difference. I really haven't lost much sleep with Baby S and with Little A, as soon as I figured out how to do it, the same.
I am so grateful that I was able to breastfeed and I feel so blessed during this time with my girls. A sacred time that no one can take away.