Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wish I'd Known: Nursing

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Today's top comes from Whitney at sewmuch2create.blogspot.com

Give breastfeeding at least SIX weeks!

It is really hard and easy to give up!  But it is REALLY worth it for your baby!

Thanks so much Whitney.  This is a great post for new moms or soon to be moms.  My experience with nursing definitely wasn't what I was expecting.  My daughter came 3 weeks early and had a bit of a difficulty with latching on.  I thought she would just latch on right away and we'd be set.  I knew nursing would be a bit painful at first because I had heard people talk about it, but I wasn't expecting the emotional roller coaster ride I went through.  I had to give my daughter her feeds using a syringe and tube that was placed into a nipple guard so she would still getting the sensation of nursing this was called S&S.  I worked with a lactation specialist at the hospital who gave me the nipple guard to use.  However, my daughter would suck once or twice and then fall asleep, so we stuck with the S&S so it would be easier for her.  The plan was to stop doing S&S soon and then just use the nipple guard and then get rid of the guard and just nurse.  The nurse had also told me that I could use the nipple guard for a short time, but really needed to get off of it soon (like a couple of weeks) or my milk supply would be hurt.

After a few days, my daughter started latching on to the nipple guard, but still not on to me.  This made me happy since I didn't have to do the S&S anymore, but also frustrated since I knew I was supposed to get rid of the nipple guard as soon as possible.  I worked with the lactation specialist at my daughter's doctors office and after an hour of trying, she had only latched once without the guard and it lasted about 3-5 seconds.  

I went home disappointed, but continued to try the new techniques.  I met with the lactation specialist again when she was 2 weeks old.  Still we only got her to latch on a couple of times, but she just didn't stick with it.  By this point I was frustrated and honestly felt like I wasn't a good mother because I wasn't able to nurse my baby normally.  

I was so ready for her to start nursing without the guard, because she was actually sucking my nipple through the holes at the end of the nipple guard and it HURT!  The day after I met with the lactation specialist I had a bit of a break down.  I cried and cried out of frustration, exhaustion and probably because my hormones were crazy.  I went and tried nursing again and guess what.....she got it!  It took 2 weeks and a day, but she did it!  

I was so close to wanting to throw in the towel and am so glad I didn't.  I continued to nurse my daughter for 13 months.  It was definitely cheaper than doing the whole formula thing, but it was also so great for her.  She never had an ear infection and maybe got one cold the whole time I was nursing.  I know nursing isn't for everyone, but if you're debating between the two, I would definitely suggest nursing.  

What I learned through this whole experience is that sometimes nursing doesn't come as easily as you expect, but it's so worth it to stick it out.  I've known plenty of people who have also had challenges with nursing so don't think that you're the only one.  It was also easier to nurse my son because I had learned a few tricks along the way.  Good luck everyone!  If you have any questions feel free to ask.  Or if you have more tips send them in!

1 comment:

Jessica Herbert said... #

I too nursed my babies. My daughter who is now almost 3 has only been seriously sick 3 times. All of which happened AFTER I stopped breastfeeding. She never got sick while I was nursing except for the occasional fever. I always say that formula is good for your baby, but breastfeeding is better!