Hey loves!!! How is everyone doing on this Tuesday? We have a little back to school shopping to do, then hopefully my kids will want to play outside again. They have their moods when they don't want to go outside.
It is the third Tuesday of the month so it is time for Tuesday talk with Ashley and Erika. It is a great link up where you can talk about anything and everything. Today I am talking about my breastfeeding adventures. A few weeks ago was National Breastfeeding week, and I realized I have never shared my struggles and wins. Lets talk about Breastfeeding...
There was never any hesitation or question about it, I planned on breastfeeding both my kids. Breast milk is FREE, natural, the best nutrition option, a great bonding experience, and the most convenient. I didn't realize how "hard" it was. I never did any research before having Aubriella about problems or complications you could have. I thought I was prepared with a black nursing tank, nursing pads, a nursing cover, and a nursing pillow. Boy was I wrong.
At the hospital with Aubriella, I meet with a lactation consultant once. She helped me get a good latch, and gave me a nipple shield to temporary help with latching also. We were sent home with no real directions or concerns (besides jaundice)
I remember when my milk finally came in and feeling the pain and heaviness in my breasts 3 days after giving birth. We were out shopping at Walmart getting food and odds and ends we needed. Luckily we were done shopping and went straight home to feed my little princess.
With Aubriella we had to supplement some with formula to help her to gain weight in the beginning. I loved her Dr at the time. She was very supportive of breastfeeding and my choice of what I wanted to do. At the time home life was pretty rough. I was married but raising my daughter for the most part like a single mom. I was stressed, exhausted, and didn't have support at home. As a new mom I wasn't comfortable breastfeeding in public. Comments were made by family members any time I went into another room to food my daughter.
I pumped occasionally at home with not much luck. When it came time to go back to work at 6 weeks I knew if I wanted to continue breastfeeding I would have to at work. This was also a struggle. I was a hair dresser at a franchised salon. There was no real space to pump. I had to go into the public restroom to pump. At that time I was (and still am) disgusted at having to pump in a restroom. I ended up stopping breastfeeding and switching over to formula completely at 7 weeks.
Before I had Austin I was a lot more prepared, or so I thought. Austin had a lot more complications. He was born a few weeks early, had a lung infection and spent a week in the NICU. I love the hospital we used but the NICU is very small and "nursery like". We were unable to stay overnight with him and had no privacy. We tried to breastfeed as much as we could but had to supplement to get him nutrients he needed to fight his infection. The hospital supplied me with a breast pump that I used whenever I couldn't be with him.
Austin also was tongue tied. We ended up getting his tongue nipped when he was a few weeks old. It make a world of a difference and helped so much with his feedings and latching on.
I went back to work at around 6-7 weeks. I only went back park time and pumped in the office whenever I needed to. I would try and plan to pump or feed before I left and when I got home. I was at a salon again, but they were a lot more accommodating.
Austin was born with 4 holes in his heart. We saw a cardiologist regularly for observation. During one of the visits Austin had an elevated heart-rate and the Dr. suggested it could have been from my caffeine consumption. He made it very clear that I needed to stop all caffeine consumption because it was being passed onto Austin. Which in turn could turn out to be harmful, if not deadly. That meant no more coffee (even decaf has a little caffeine) no tea, no chocolate, no shakes.... I was willing to give it all up and tried. One evening I grabbed some chocolate cake without even thinking about it. It didn't dawn on my until after I was finished that it had caffeine in it. I was so scared and cried. My only option at that moment was to give him formula. You don't realize how the little mistake you make can affect someone else until it is to late sometimes. This was my turning point of giving up breastfeeding Austin and going to formula from here on out.
I loved the experience, enjoyed our special bonding time, and learned a lot from breastfeeding both my kids. I believe that my kids don't get sick as often being they had extra "germs" from me. (Having a vaginal birth also helped and I know this isn't possible for everyone.)
If I decide to have another child I will again opt to breastfeed. I have learned so much from my girlfriends having babies and breastfeeding. As I have gotten older I care less what people think and I do what is best for myself and my family.
I have to admit I have no pictures of me actually breastfeeding either of my kids. It is something I look back at now and wish I would have just that little extra memory in a picture form. It is nothing to be ashamed of, it is a beautiful thing.
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