8 Weeks—Adventures in Breastfeeding
I can’t decide if the past 8 weeks have flown by or gone by very, very slow. Either way, my little baby is growing like crazy! He has literally doubled in size, and I’ve never been so proud of a double chin in my life. I decided before I ever got pregnant that I would breastfeed. It seemed to be the best, most natural way to start off my baby’s life. Never once did I think that something so natural would be so difficult.
I made my first mistake an hour into his life when I used a nipple guard to help him feed. I say mistake, but that’s a bit harsh…when you’re in the middle of it, all you want is to make your as easy as possible for your baby. I continued using the nipple guard the next couple of days.
The second mis-step happened the second night I was home from the hospital. I had been awake for over 24 hours and it was the middle of the night. He had been crying for an hour straight and I couldn’t get him to latch onto my breast. I decided to use the pump to get him some milk, just this once, so we could both get some sleep. Well, I’ve been pumping at least 8 times a day since.
Although he is absolutely strong enough now to latch onto my breast, he absolutely prefers the bottle. Why wouldn’t he? He hardly has to do any work. I’ve consulted with a lactation specialist and she put it simply: “Babies are smarter than we think.”
I nurse him first thing in the morning and in the evening, but it’s a struggle almost every time. It takes at least an hour, sometimes two. I am still committed to breastfeeding, and luckily my milk supply has been good, but it has not been the “natural” experience I had once imagined.
I know there are women who have no problems at all, and there are women who try everything but it simply doesn’t work for them. My resolution is to not judge women when it comes to breastfeeding as I had pre-baby. You never know their circumstances or how they may be struggling with it internally. I think it’s more important to support fellow Mommies…Lord knows we need it!
To the Motherhood,