Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
I’ve wanted to write a breastfeeding post since the first week but it’s this thing that’s constantly changing and evolving that I know once I post something, it’ll be different a week later. The short version is all is going well in the breastfeeding department and I really love it. Keep reading for the long version.
I wish I could I could say that breastfeeding went off without a hitch but that is so not the case. In the hospital, Charlotte would only latch on for a couple of feedings a day so I was pumping like crazy so that I’d have enough milk to bottlefeed her. I was super stressed out and worried that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. I felt like I was with lactation consultants all day, everyday trying all sorts of positions and tools to help. It was so overwhelming. Honestly, it seemed like none of the advice was really working.
When I got home, it didn’t get much better. I dreaded feeding times because I knew it would consist of Charlie screaming because she was hungry and me crying because I felt like a terrible mother. It always ended with pumping and giving her a bottle. A week after Charlie was born, I met with yet another consultant who suggested I give her a bottle to start with, just to get her wanting the milk, and then try offering her the breast. The next time I went to feed her, I started with the bottle and ended with the breast. For the next feeding, I decided to just offer the breast and when she latched on immediately, I almost cried out of pure happiness. Ever since then, she’s been nursing like a champ. Even though we only had latch issues for a week, it felt so much longer.
I was happy that Charlie was latching on with no problem but other issues started to come up. One of the things that drives me crazy is when lactation consultants and La Leche League leaders say that breastfeeding should not hurt. Almost every breastfeeding mother I’ve spoken to has had some pain while breastfeeding during the first few weeks. Charlotte had a perfect latch but I still experienced pain for about 3 weeks. I totally understood why some women give up on breastfeeding and thought it would be so easy to switch to formula. I envied mothers who chose forumla in those first few weeks. However, by week 3, the pain subsided and by week 4, it was completely gone. My advice to new moms who are breastfeeding: If the latch is good but you’re experience pain, stick with it! It gets better. I promise!
I’m so glad I stuck with it because now, I love the convenience of breastfeeding. First of all, it’s free! And second, I don’t have to worry about thawing milk, mixing formula or cleaning bottles. Okay, cleaning bottles isn’t that hard but I’m all for free and easy!
It’s not just about convenience, I also love breastfeeding because it’s such a sweet bonding experience with Charlie. I like that I’m forced to take a moment to just sit with her and literally connect. I love the way she grabs my shirt and looks up at me with those sweet little eyes. Sometimes, she’ll stop for a moment, make the sweetest little noise and smile up at me. It melts my heart every single time.