Breastfeeding was on of those taboo topics that people just didn’t talk about when I was pregnant with my first child. As a new mom, I knew right away that I wanted to try breastfeeding my baby. My first experience with breastfeeding happened when my twin sisters were born. I remember seeing my mom breastfeeding and knew that my body was designed to feed my baby. My mom also rented a breast pump for a short period of time so that she could give my twin sisters breast milk, they were born six weeks early and spent a few days in the NICU. My mom only breastfed them for a short period of time to help boast their immune system. When my mother had to return to work, she decided to ditched the breast pump and decided to give up breastfeeding and switch to formula.
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only and is based upon my own experience.
In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, I wanted to share my own breastfeeding journey.
After watching my mom breastfeed my younger sisters, I felt that I knew enough to attempt to exclusively breastfeed my baby. When my daughter was born, I remember putting her to my breast for the first time. She latched on right away and I felt like a natural. When we were discharged from the hospital, I remember that the hospital sent home some formula samples in case that I changed my mind and decided not to breastfeed. That formula went to waste because I never ended up using it. My daughter loved breast milk so much that she would talk and make noises while eating. I breastfed her for about 13 months, when I finally decided to wean her.
My oldest son was born several years later and breastfeeding still wasn’t something that was openly talked about. In fact, the nurses in the postpartum wing gave me a funny look when I told them I was going to breastfeed my son and not to offer him any formula. I wasn’t able to breastfeed immediately after he was born due to the hospital’s labor, delivery, and recovery room was all separate rooms. I remember that he was a bit more high maintenance and he demanded to eat roughly ever two hours during the first few months, which made it harder to get enough sleep at night. I was thankful when he started sleeping through the night. Our breastfeeding relationship lasted a bit longer than I originally intended and he was nursed until he was two and a half years old.
My youngest son was born two years ago and things have changed dramatically. Breastfeeding awareness has increased greatly over the last ten years and more mother’s are voicing their opinions about breastfeeding their baby. This time my OB/GYN and hospital helped educate and encourage mothers to consider breastfeeding their baby. As an experienced breastfeeding mother, I was excited to know that there was a push to educate women on the benefits of breastfeeding their baby. When my son was born, it was an hour or so after my c-section before I had the opportunity to breastfeed baby. He latched on like a pro. After we came home from the hospital, I immediately began using my breast pump because I wanted to start stock piling milk before I had to return to work. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to pump enough milk after I returned to work. Once I returned to work, I was able to pump several times a day and was able to continue giving my son breast milk while I was at work. I successfully continued my breastfeeding relationship with my son until he was 18 months old.
I wanted to help other mothers realize that they too could continue to breastfeed their breastfeeding relationship and provide their child with enough breast milk while at work.
I realize that breastfeeding isn’t for everyone and a mother should never feel guilty for not choosing to breastfeed their child. There are many reasons why some women choose not to breastfeed and I respect their decision. While formula wasn’t my personal choice but if circumstances were different I would have opted to do what was in the best interest of my child even if it meant using formula.
How did you feed your baby?