Saturday, February 11, 2012

My breastfeeding story.

Thank you for listening to me talk about breastfeeding this week.  I really enjoyed getting the chance to talk a little about the topic.  I don't normally talk too much about breastfeeding on OTTW because I have a great blogger friend who covers the topic beautifully.  Mummies Nummies is a wonderful place to go to get support, inspiration, help and a few laughs too.  You can also join Mummie on Facebook where she has her fan page plus a closed group where you can go to get support and talk about those things that may be a little too personal for everyone to see.  The closed group is a wonderful place full of supportive Moms who breastfeed too.

My comfort level with my choice to breastfeed has changed drastically over the years....and after three children!
I just love my long sweaters....
they make perfect covers!
With Sweet Pea, I was only 21 years old and a college student who worked full time at 6 weeks postpartum.  I was blessed with having my mother taking care of her while The RacDad and I were at school and work.  I pumped while I was away so that she could have my milk.  My supply, however, was very low because of complications with her birth.  So I had to supplement her with one bottle of formula a day.  I was never taught that I could increase my supply or other information to help me with my choice.  She weaned herself at 9 months after I had been away for a weekend.  It was a good experience and I can't regret anything.  But I was young and naive.  When I did nurse her, I never did it in public.  I never could.  I couldn't nurse her around family members.  I would always excuse myself from the room and I would still cover myself if there was a chance that someone could walk in.  I was not comfortable with my body.  I was overwhelmed with the fear of making someone uncomfortable.  I also felt that others would judge my decision.  I didn't want my family members to have an opinion about it.



Little Man's last nursing session.
With Little Man, I was 29 years old.  I was much more secure with myself and with my choice.  I armed myself with information....the internet is a wonderful thing!  I learned about supply issues and how to help yourself.  I found a wonderful support system, both in my life and online.  I went through everything imaginable with breastfeeding Little Man.  I had Mastitis three times.  I had severely cracked and bleeding nipples.  In fact, they are still scarred from the cracks being so deep.  I produced more than twice as much as he needed, so I had to pump the excess everyday.  I had OAL (over active letdown) which made it very hard for Little Man to nurse.  Luckily, most of these problems subsided by the time he was 6 months old.  It was a long six months though.  Little Man nursed for 14 months.  During that time, I was still uncomfortable about nursing around others.  I would excuse myself from time to time to go to the bedroom to nurse him.  When I did nurse him around family members, I kept myself covered, which he hated.  I timed our outings around his feeding times and I only had to nurse him while out once....in a dressing room.  But we were living in a state where the legislation at the time said that nursing was equated with indecent exposure.  Luckily, they changed those laws that year and I was very excited about it.  I was still very conscious about how my choice would affect others around me though.  I was told by a friend to take a picture of him nursing.  I couldn't bring myself to do it until his very last nursing session.  I thought if anyone saw the pictures, they would be offended.  Now I wish I had more and even some of Sweet Pea because it is such a beautiful memory for me.

Now we are to Peanut.  She is a nursing pro.  She latched perfectly the very first time and has been eating successfully ever since.  I haven't had a crack or pain at all.  I did get a blister once, but it healed easily.  As far as my views about feeding her...I am so comfortable that there is no problem at all.  It doesn't matter where I am or who I am around.  If she needs to eat, then she gets to eat.  There is no longer a worry about who I could possibly offend because what it boils down to is what she needs.  Other people can just deal with it.  And you know what's interesting....they do.  I expected a little awkwardness from a few family members who I know were uneasy when I was breastfeeding Sweet Pea.  But they have no problems with it at all.  I think that because I am comfortable with it, they have learned to be comfortable too.  Of course, anymore when I sit down to feed her no one even notices what I'm doing.  It's just a natural daily thing for me.  I thought it was funny at Christmas when I was talking to my cousin.  We were chatting away and Peanut got hungry, so I started to feed her.  When I was about halfway done, he looked up and said, "I had no clue you were feeding her!  Do you want me to leave the room?"  I said that I was enjoying the conversation and to stay if he wanted to.  Now that Peanut is starting to sleep through the night, I have come down just yesterday with a bad case of Mastitis.  Luckily, it's a 'been there, done that' type of thing again, so I am feeling much better today.  Just another thing to add to the story.

Thank you all for letting me get a little personal.  I would love to hear about your stories too!

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4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing!

    I had an oversupply and over active letdown with my son as well. It was awfil and made it impossible to go out much. Plus, I just wasn't comfortable in my own skin. It is definitely different this time. I care so much less about what people think now. I haven't nursed in true public yet since we don't go out in such freezing weather, but I know it will happen plenty this summer.
    I think there is a confidence that comes with subsequent children. Or maybe we are too tired to care. Ha.

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  2. It truly is amazing how each "Nummie Lover" is different! Each journey is different than the last! Thanks for sharing your experiences! (Thank for the shout out too. You can blog about breastfeeding any time!) 

    Jacky
    Mummie's Nummies

    www.mummiesnummies.com

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  3. I had no problem nursing in front of anyone, however, there were definitely family members that weren't comfortable with it, in the sense that they didn't want to risk see my breasts. I had nursed her in a number of restaurants, friends/family homes and even in stores.

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  4. That's great!  The more we all talk about how we do it, the better chance we have of helping another mom with her decision.  It really is OK for other people to be uncomfortable, as long as they don't project that onto you.  Way to go Momma!

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