Friday, March 12, 2010

Blessings worth the little challenges.

When I first got pregnant I wasn't completely "sold" on the idea of breastfeeding. Sure, I wanted to try, not only for the health benefits for baby and me, but for the financial benefit. There is some investment for the equipment to pump, but in the long run it's so much cheaper than buying a year's worth of formula! The reason I wasn't sure if I wanted to breastfeed was because I didn't want to feel like I had failed if I had problems with it. I knew as a new mother life as I knew it would be completely different and I didn't want the fear of failure to be one more stressor.

During my last trimester I bought a copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, which is published by La Leche League. This, combined with the breastfeeding class I took at a local hospital, helped encourage me to really try breastfeeding. I am so glad I did.

I nursed my daughter within a half hour of her birth, while we were still in the delivery room. I don't know if she even got any colostrum at that time, but it was the most incredible experience of my life. All of the nurses were very supportive of breastfeeding. The nurses who helped deliver my baby helped show me how to hold her and held my breast so that she could try to get a latch. The nurses on the maternity ward were also a godsend for a new mom who was in a lot of pain and needed a lot of help.

Another thing that was a huge help to my breastfeeding was having someone to support me at home, namely, someone who had breastfed before. My husband has always been very supportive of breastfeeding, but couldn't really give me advice. My mother in law stayed with us those first few weeks and was right there with me, whatever I needed. She encouraged me when my nipples were sore, or when the latch wasn't right. She changed the baby during middle of the night feedings so I could rest before I had my daughter switch to the other breast.

I've been breastfeeding my daughter four months now. It was challenging the first few days but it has been so worth it. I've been blessed to have an ample supply and a child who loves to eat. I've been blessed with lots of people to help and encourage me. Life continues to bring challenges, such as going back to work, and the increasing need to pump. In all, I wouldn't change a thing about the past four months.

H, 36
Mom to C, 4 months

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