Well, breast feeding has been quite the journey. Those first couple weeks were full of pain, frustration, breakdowns and perseverance. You can read about my experience in this post. I can remember several mom’s telling me, “It gets better. Trust me. Stick with it because it will become an amazing experience.” I trusted in their words and hoped that someday I would share in their joy. I am so excited I stuck with it because it has become and AMAZING experience and bond with Sam.
I never understood or could wrap my brain around why women talked so fondly of breast feeding. I mean, I got that its what’s best for the baby and it certainly is easier than messing with bottles everyday. You just whip it out, no prep or clean up necessary. But several women would use words like incredible and amazing which at the time I thought they may be exaggerating just a tad to promote breast feeding. However, they were so right. The only two words to describe breast feeding at this point are incredible and amazing. I now look forward to nursing Sam unlike in the earlier weeks where I would dreadfully count down the hours/minutes/seconds until I had to feed him again.
It’s hard to describe why breast feeding is so special. You truly can’t understand it until you experience it yourself. Now that he is older, I love the subtle things he does every time he nurses. He will hold onto my shirt with one hand while nursing, as though he’s securing himself there so there’s no way I can get away. I love how big his eyes get when he’s sitting on my lap and he hears the snap of my bra, he knows that sound means it’s time to eat! I love how he lets out a few short grunts before he latches because he’s so excited. So precious. I also love how he will sometimes gently rest his hand on my upper chest while nursing. Oh Sammy boy.
I knew once I had Thrush that it would be awhile before things got back to normal and I had a pretty good chance of it not going away on the first try. So instead of thinking, “This probably isn’t going to be smooth sailing until he’s 2 months.” I would set short goals for myself. I would just take it one week at a time and say to myself, “You can do this till Tuesday, then he’ll be 4 weeks and things will be a little bit better.” That helped me not feel so overwhelmed by focusing on just a few days at a time instead of what the weeks ahead would look like. Oh and Thrush did return and was more painful than the first time. We started another round of Nystatin and Diflucan. I am also trying some homeopathic remedies as well, such as, grapefruit seed extract and taking a probiotic. Also, I am still breaking out in hives everyday. Some days I will only have a few and other days it’s all over my body and requires Benadryl. Even so, I am so glad I hung in there and continued to breast feed. It truly is that special ladies.
These are some resources I found extremely helpful to me in those early weeks of breastfeeding:
- The Leaky Boob
This website offers great resources for breast feeding momma’s. There are tons of articles and expert advice for mom’s on perfect the latch, signs of thrush, society’s view of breast feeding, and so much more. They also have a facebook page which I really like because you can post questions and several “leakies” will offer you advice and support. It’s so important to have support as a new mom. It’s empowering.
- The Alpha Parent: Timeline of a Breastfed Baby
This article is so helpful in understanding your baby’s needs. It breaks it down day by day during the first week. I think several mothers worry their baby isn’t getting enough milk during the first few days and will start supplementing formula. That can be a detrimental to your success with breast feeding. I’ve refereced this article several times since Sam was born. It’s so important to educate yourself before you get to the hospital. I was told by one of the nurses that I will need to supplement with formula because Sam was a big baby. I hadn’t even tried nursing yet!! I never supplemented with formula and my boy did just fine. Those first few days are critical for your milk to come in and for the baby to learn how to latch. You and your baby will tell your body how much milk he needs. Your baby’s first feeds are about quality, not quantity.
Another great website that offers articles and references for breast feeding moms.
IPhone app. While battling thrush and trying to get rid of my hives, I wondered what medications were safe to take while breast feeding. This app tells you just that. You can look up just about any medication and read about the effects on lactation and infants, it’s summary of use and alternate drugs that may be more appropriate.
- Lactation Consultant
FIND ONE IN YOUR AREA BEFORE YOU DELIVER. Seriously. After I had Sam, I had 3 visits with a LC and found each visit extremely helpful. Your insurance may even cover the cost of the visit but if they don’t it shouldn’t be more than $50… and it’s very much worth the money. Just think, $50 to help you succeed with breast feeding or paying for formula?
Sam and I are going out today! Not sure where but this momma needs a day out. I’m thinking maybe Target or Macy’s… or both (If Sam says it’s ok). No need to worry about making and packing bottles or a way to heat them up while we’re out. I’ve got everything my boy needs; perfect amount, perfect temperature, perfect balance of nutrients. Yeah, we’re a pretty good team 🙂
Have a great weekend!