Thursday, July 18, 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey, Not Always An Easy One

  My breastfeeding journey started almost 14 years ago, when I had my first daughter at 17. I knew I wanted to breastfeed, and I knew how important it was, but the problem was that I didn't know how. I thought breastfeeding was this natural, easy, just happens kind of thing. I was dead wrong! At the hospital, the nurses assured me I was doing it right, and that it was normal to cause pain, not just discomfort but pain. I was to embarrassed (imagine that) to allow my mom to help when I got home. So it was only a few days before I had given up. And boy did I go through the ringer while drying up. I look back now and can't believe I didn't get mastitis. I remember sleeping with dish towels in my night gown, with rock hard, engorged breasts.
  Skip forward a few years and I had another daughter. Only this time I was bound and determined. I began having the same problem yet again. Only this time I called a La Leche Leader. She gave me advice over the phone, which, no offense to her, helped me at all. I stuck through it for several weeks, until the pain got unbearable. I can remember sitting on the edge of my bed looking at my precious little baby nursing, and cringing my toes on the floor, being in so much pain I felt like throwing her against the wall. (Side note, no I did not EVER hurt any of my kids, no suffer from postpartum depression, I was just in pain with cracked and bleeding nipples)  I wanted to give up, I wanted to be done. I had a couple of bottles and sample formula that I tried to give her. Well thank God she couldn't grasp the concept, the little bugger :-) She kept sucking away but the nipple kept con caving so she couldn't get anything. I sent my husband to the store to buy a different kind. Much to my dismay/relief he came home rather with a tube of Lansinoh Lanolin. I admit I was not happy at first, yet impressed all the same. I had never heard of it back then. I would slather that stuff on before nursing and after. It was all I could do to get through it. Praise God by the time I was done with the entire large tube my body had adjusted to the way she was nursing and I was fine. I began going to La Leche League meetings, and loved them. I did learn she was latched on improperly. But I tried to fix her latch but she never changed.
   Skip another few years, and we come to another daughter. I had my daughter at home this time, and felt prepared, with having La Leache under my belt and a tube of Lansinoh just in case. Yet again, I knew she was latched wrong but couldn't seem to fix it. I called a leader and she came to my house this time. She got her latched on right and I was thrilled. (she also talked me into becoming a leader myself) However my dear little daughter went right back to latching wrong, despite my best efforts to do exactly as I was taught. I again delt with it, using Lansinoh and was able to stick with it. I became a leader, and found it amusing that I was helping women and couldn't even get my own child latched on. Warning I am about to say something unkind, Some days with some women, I just felt like saying, "if you really wanted to, you would just deal with it, I did"  But I never did.
   Skip another few years, I had moved and stopped participating in La Leache. I figured on all of my children latching wrong. I think with each child though my body grew more and more accustomed to my babies latch, because it was easier. I was down to using the small tubes of Lansinoh.
  Skip two more years and I had another daughter and did not even have to use Lansinoh. I was able to get through the discomfort at the beginning, and went on to nurse another year and a half.
  Skip another two years and we come to our latest little girl. I will admit I was more uncomfortable this time around, then the last two. I did used a little tube of Lansinoh, but I only used about half. I tried several different holds, but I just delt with it until my body adjusted. She is now three months old and I am hoping, striving to strictly breastfeed for the first year, no baby food at all! I have wanted to, but never made it a full year.
  What I am trying to convey is, I am a mom of 10 children (8 here on earth) and I have and am currently nursing my sixth child and even I still have trouble. Breastfeeding does not come natural, even though it is the most natural way to feed your baby. It can be very difficult in the beginning, but so very well worth it. My husband loves that I nurse, not just because it is healthier and saves a lot of money, but because he doesn't have to wake up in the middle of the night ;-)
 I love nursing for so many reasons, the bonding that it helps create, the health benefits are numerous, the ease of traveling or just going somewhere I mean lets face it God created a woman's breast to feed her baby.
 I hope that all of you mothers remember, whether you nurse your baby three days or three years+ everyday is a gift to your child, and a blessing to you.

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