My Mom always told me that I would be a good cow. I’m not sure that’s actually a compliment but it stayed with me after my first child was born. I had a long labor with him (typical) and the birth was nothing like I had planned (typical). When they handed me this tiny, wrinkly, red, crying infant I was completely overwhelmed. The midwife in the room suggested breastfeeding. Good thing my baby knew what to do, he latched on like a champ.
Breastfeeding in the hospital (Mercy Gilbert) was great. An IBCLC came in to see us, she showed us some holds and asked me to record the times and lengths of his feedings. Sure, my nipples were sore but cream helped and my baby’s latch was really good so the discomfort didn’t last long. When it was time to go home, the nurse handed me the Similac formula Bag. I didn’t want any formula in my house (too tempting) so I left the can in the room.
When we got home, it was a complete whirlwind. I was so so so tired and he cried all the time. I was sobbing too saying “I just want to eat dinner”. I quickly learned to do everything one handed, holding him with the other. Per my Mom’s advice I tried to put him on a schedule- ha! That was completely frustrating to baby and me- he wanted boob, I had boob. What made more sense was to just nurse him on demand. Breastfeeding was the only thing that calmed him down and comforted him.
Breastfeeding continued to be a positive thing for us, throughout all his milestones and my sleepless nights. Throughout bumps and bruises, fevers and emotional upsets. He would sign for it, that chubby little fist opening and closing. Just after he turned one, I became pregnant with our second baby. He was still breastfeeding, it’s completely safe in most cases. I will never forget nursing him in the rocking chair, I was 14 weeks pregnant and he looked at me quizzically and asked “baby?” We were feeling baby moving for the first time together.
Of course, I had doubts about breastfeeding and wanted to use formula every now and then. But with the words of my Mom and my husband’s encouragement, we made it through those tough days and it was so so worth it. It’s important that we share these positive stories more than the negative ones. Would you be willing to share how you successfully breastfed? Send us your story in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s tell Moms the real story of breastfeeding.