Monday, August 3, 2015

Mommy Monday: World Breastfeeding Week

It's been close to 2 months since I have blogged about anything.
Why?  Well because we were preparing and welcoming this little bundle of joy into our family 


Our sweet little farmgirl joined our family July 1st.   In honor of World Breastfeeding Week today I'm going to share my breastfeeding story with you.

This is our 3rd breastfeeding journey and let me tell you each one has been different.  My story begins 7 1/2 years ago with our oldest.  He was born via emergency c-section after a very scary few hours of struggling to have a vaginal birth.  I didn't get to hold him the whole time I was in recovery, we struggled after those few hours to get him to latch, the help I received in the hospital was minimal, we ended up supplementing him, I tried to pump.  The struggle continued after we  got home.  At a visit with the pediatrician the nurse made me feel like a mad mom for not feeding him enough/correctly.   I rented a hospital grade pump, talked with our hospital's lactation consultant but just couldn't get it right.  I was overwhelmed, worried about our little boy and lost.  I gave up after 2 months.

Fast forward 5 years...baby boy #2 was born.  I was able to hold him right after my scheduled c-section was complete.  I nursed him as soon as I was in recovery, my nurses were helpful and ensured I learned a proper latch at the hospital.  Even with a return hospital stay at 4 days old and 48 hours of pumping/bottle feeding our breastfeeding relationship didn't suffer.  Now don't get me wrong I still had sore nipples and pain worse than labor pains but this time instead of trying to go at it on my own I asked for help.  I searched and found a local breastfeeding support group...I went regularly.  I asked questions and advice.  I returned to work early but was still able to maintain my supply through pumping and nursing.  I bookmarked my favorite breastfeeding website, Kelly Mom, and visited often.  I was determined to make it longer this time.  And we did!  Even with a few trips away from the baby I was able to breastfeed for close to a year.  But it took work on my part...

I've always been told anything worth having is worth working for and I completely agree!

Now 1 month into baby #3 I have felt like I'm learning to walk all over again.  My experience with nursing at the hospital was greatly improved from my previous.  I have to give a big shout out to my day nurse Robin whom I loved!   She was a huge help.  We struggled with jaundice as we did with the boys but this time we nursed through.  We struggled with weight gain but instead of giving in and supplementing with formula my pediatrician and I worked out a plan, I consulted my favorite lactation consultant and, I pumped, fed on a schedule plus on demand and was able to exceed our weight gain goal the next week (even with a 14 hour road trip).  

So what have these experiences taught me...
1. Don't give up...it can work out even in tough situations.  It might not look like you dreamed it would but you can do it.  

2. Seek help and advice.  It might not be where you expect it.  I didn't receive my best help at the hospital I delivered at with my first...or honestly even  my 2nd.  I found it through a local mommies group that led me to a breastfeeding support group at another hospital.  I will be forever thankful for that group and their support.  

3. Have a support "team."  My support team with my 1st was weak and under educated.  It was my husband and myself.  With my 2nd it expanded to include wonderful friends who "had been there done that," a lactation consultant who answered emails, phone calls and crazy direct messages without a 2nd thought, and a support group of ladies that offered encouragement even though we had  no other connection.  

4. Know that any amount of breastfeeding no matter if it's 2 weeks or 2 years benefits your child.  

Do you have anything to add?  Be sure to leave a comment!  

Until we meet again...

Caci