Nanny to Mommy: My Breastfeeding Journey #SisterhoodUnite #ParentsFirst



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Friday, March 13, 2015

My Breastfeeding Journey #SisterhoodUnite #ParentsFirst

I'm a Sisterhood of Motherhood Partner and a sponsored blog partner, but all opinions here are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

My breastfeeding journey has been a long one. I was very uneducated when I first started my journey and of course inexperienced. I had read very little about breastfeeding because I was more worried about giving birth and everything I did read was either hard to follow or very discouraging. When I announced my decision to try breastfeeding when I was pregnant, it was returned with very little support.



When my daughter first latched, something felt off. I couldn't explain it. I also thought no one would be allowed in the delivery room, so I didn't let her nurse as long as she wanted so we could rush upstairs to post-partum so everyone could see her.

The day following her delivery she was very sleepy and had trouble attaching for feedings. I talked to the lactation consultant who wanted me to use a nipple shield and the football hold, both of which I could never figure out. I also didn't know I should wake her to nurse every 2-3 hours so my milk could come in. Her first night home was rough. She wanted to stay cuddled right next to me, so I didn't sleep a wink. Those first few days home were the worst. I had read that a good latch would hurt initially, but shouldn't continue to hurt during feedings. But hers did, a sharp wincing pain that was so bad I was to the point where I would dread feeding her. I found that lying down to nurse helped her latch in a way that wasn't painful for me.

I had a hard time pumping as well. I don't know if it was because of my pump or because there was something wrong with me. I learned later that some people are just bad pumpers and that my particular pump wasn't suited for my needs. This was all before you could go through your insurance to acquire a quality pump and at the time we didn't have the funds for a new one.
 
I was often made to feel guilty over my decision to breastfeed her because she was always in the 25th percentile (although her doctor was never concerned), it was used as a reason why I could never have a "break" (I was also reminded that I didn't have a "job" and shouldn't need a break), and it was the excuse given to why I could never go out of the house with others because she might need to nurse out in public. Looking back, those are all ridiculous reasons but because of them and my inexperience, I tried to give her formula. I tried to please others and save my sanity, but she had issues even taking a bottle of (the very little I was able to) pumped breast milk. At the time, I was hoping giving her formula would work. 
 
Somehow my daughter and I continued our breastfeeding relationship until 14 months. With a LOT of help from fenugreek and my online mommy friends, we somehow had made it. I later learned that my daughter mostly likely had lip tie although it never went officially diagnosed. And when I became pregnant with my son, I looked for ways to overcome this issue.
 
My son had a STRONG latch. Which my daughter never did. He let me move his top lip into position, so nursing him was a painless experience right from the very start. I still have fond memories of nursing my daughter and missed it when it was over.

My son just turned a year old and I don't see our nursing sessions ending anytime soon. He's had a bottle every now and then, even formula, because I still have had supply issues this time around. But if that's what was needed so I could have my sanity, who is anyone to judge? There were times I wished my daughter would have taken a bottle. She was constantly attached to me and although it was hard, that's what she needed. That doesn't mean she was a "difficult" baby, she was my rainbow baby. Both my children are happy, healthy, and thriving. That's really the main goal of this whole parenting gig, right?
 
I know I have shared this video before, but I wish I had something like this to see when my daughter was baby. I felt so judged for all my parenting choices and that I had to explain myself over and over again. You can view the video HERE, be prepared to get emotional.
 
What was your feeding story like? Did you breastfeed, pump, formula feed, or some combination? Did you have any obstacles?
 
I'm a Sisterhood of Motherhood sponsored partner, but all opinions here are my own. You can view more stories on Facebook. Similac partnered with bloggers such as me for its Sisterhood of Motherhood Program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

14 comments:

  1. Good for you for persevering when it must have been so hard! I have five kids, and had no issues with the first three, but had a terrible thrush problem with #4 and failure to thrive with #5. I am sure I would have given up if that had happened with my first baby. I've nursed through two pregnancies, tandem nursed, and nursed for extended periods of time! It was my absolute favorite part of having babies.

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  2. Great Video. I had a similar experience with my first. I really had no idea what I was doing. I was so paranoid about her losing weight that I went straight to the bottle without trying very long. I had no idea that the nipple size mattered so she preferred the bottle over me because the flow was much faster. If I used the slow flow nipple to begin with I probably would not of had that problem. The second time around I did more research. I was not as worried about her losing weight at first. I ended up breastfeeding for 15 months and she gained a lot. I wish I could have breastfeed my oldest longer but she still has turned out amazing. To me feeding with the bottle and breastfeeding have pros and cons. I would prefer breastfeeding but if it doesn't work out it doesn't make you less of a mom.

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  3. Breastfeeding is a tough job, there is no doubt about that! Amber N

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  4. Breastfeeding has been one of the hardest and most rewarding experience. 8 months and still going strong.

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  5. You are so awesome for pushing through! Nursing is so hard, and it's even worse when you don't have support. My first daughter was born 5 weeks early and couldn't nurse because she was on a ventilator, so I had no choice but to pump. I'm like you... I just don't pump well. Even with a strict schedule, great pump, and lots of fenugreek, I just didn't make enough for her. Plus, when she did eventually start to nurse, the pain was excruciating. (I later discovered I have Raynaud's in my nipples. Fun stuff.) Despite that, I was able to give her at least a little breastmilk through nursing once/day or bottle for about 14 months. I'm so grateful I could at least do that. My second baby is completely different... she's exclusively breastfed and hasn't had a drop of fomula. (Not that I have a problem with formula, I just didn't want to pay for it!!) With the help of medication for the Raynaud's, it's been awesome and I appreciate every day I get to nurse her. :) Good for you for pushing through and finding your own support system! And I'm sure your post will help some other new mamas out there. :)

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  6. I loved breastfeeding. Loved it; I was very fortunate not to have issues (although my oldest was in NICU until day 10 and didn't latch until the first night we were home; I was petrified it wouldn't happen, but he nursed like a champ until 14 months!

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  7. I applaud any mom who breastfeeds, even for 1 day.
    We were attached for almost 20 months especially since our son has food allergies.
    Milk and soy formula were out of the question.

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  8. I'm so glad that you had the online support. Breastfeeding needs support, because everyone seems to think it is a major concern if your baby is "always" attached to you!

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  9. I think it's amazing you were able to continue to nurse your daughter for 14 months despite a lack of good support at the beginning. It was sort of the same way with my oldest (who's 8 now) I stopped nursing around 3 months, but continued to pump for almost a year. His latch was awful, all sorts of problems...

    With my second, I was ready, and it was so much better. I actually nursed him past his 2nd birthday and I think I can see the same happpening with my third. (who's almost 1)

    Anyway, good for you. I love breastfeeding. :)

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  10. I had some of the exact same issues you had with my first born and only ended up breastfeeding her for 3 months. I still feel guilty about it to this day. My second was the opposite. He latched on perfectly and I nursed him for over 2 years.

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  11. I breastfed both of mine and would not change it for anything in this world <3

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  12. Even though this is my second baby, this is the first time I've really tried hard at breastfeeding. I thought I gave it my best with my first, but I was like you and really didn't know as much about breastfeeding as I thought I did and we only lasted 3 weeks, and it wasn't even exclusive nursing.
    I'm having issues with baby #2, but I'm trying really hard not to give up. The lactation consultant at the pediatrician's office has been a Godsend. We had Ripley's tongue and lip tie corrected Monday, but it still hurts to nurse her, mostly on the left side. Like you said, the wincing pain that I have to try not to curse and scream out loud. Hopefully once we start PT it will help both her and me. I hope so, otherwise I'll feel terrible for having the lip and tongue tie procedure done. :/
    Anyways, thanks for sharing. I have been meaning to get around to writing a similar post on my own blog if I can ever get the time! lol I think it's important to get the word out to other moms, especially first time ones, that breastfeeding is not as easy as it looks in ads, tv, etc!

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  13. I nursed and loved it!! Was lucky enough to have no issues and tons of support!!

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♥,
Diana