31 March 2008
Breast is Best
From the moment you reveal that you are pregnant people begin asking you whether or not you are going to breastfeed or not. They remind you over and over that breast is best and it is the responsible thing to do as a mother. (Somehow when you have a preggo belly you get a surgically implanted sign that says please touch my belly and give me advice. Okay that is a little cynical, but sometimes I felt like I was... well lets say I should have had dinner first before these ladies came and fondled my belly.) However, no one told me how difficult it is.
I have always known that I wanted to breastfeed. The health benefits for both the child and mother made it an obvious decision for me. (Keyword decision for me. It should be an individual decision for each mother. Also have you seen the prices of formula lately? Liquid gold I tell you! )I even took a class trying to prepare myself, but I never knew how hard I would have to work in order to be successful. I am disappointed by the class that I took. They said as long as you followed their easy steps starting to breastfeed would be a cinch. I think that information did more harm than help. When Hunter did not want to eat right away I felt like a failure. I expected to pop the baby out, do my little learned tricks, and have him breastfeeding no problem five minutes later. How naive I was. 1. There was no popping baby out. 2. you get the picture.
We ended up spending a week in the hospital because the little guy wouldn't eat consistently and had jaundice. He would tease me every now and then and would eat well; however, the next time it appeared that he never had seen a boob before. The same people who preached breast is best began pushing the bottle and formula down my throat. Luckily I am incredibly stubborn and I had a incredibly supportive husband.
I knew that stubbornness would come in handy someday.
My first lactation consultant acted like I was a waste of her time. She just added to the mounding discouragement. Fortunately, Hunter's doctor set up a consult with another lactation specialist. She was so patient, understanding, and encouraging. She praised me for standing up to nurses and asking for a pump. She let me know that this was fairly common and was probably due to the trauma Hunter received during the rough delivery. She gave me a breast shield with a syringe. This taught him to drink from the breast while making sure that he was getting a sufficient amount while he was learning. It made me feel better, because I knew he was getting the healthiest option and a healthy amount. Course I believed at this time I thought I was always going to have to pseudo breastfeed like that. Hunter's doctor said something that gave me hope. She said she had never seen someone who truly wanted to breastfeed not eventually become successful and she hadn't seen anyone as determined as I was. I really think stubborn was the more appropriate word, but I like her use of determined. Anyways, that gave me a little more hope for when we continued the struggle once we arrived home.
It was still difficult once we got home. The method the lactation consultant showed us required two people and it was about time for Tony to have to go back to work. I was about emotionally ready to give up. We were trying it one last time when Tony had to go back to the kitchen to grab something. Hunter just started to breastfeed like he had done it a million times before. It really felt like a miracle. God and his perfect timing amazes me. Hunter used the breast shield for a couple weeks after that. I just assumed that he would always need it. Then once again he was taking a bath with me and started nursing without the shield like that was standard procedure. I never thought we would get to that point. Now Hunter is an expert nurser and pretty much does all the work himself. ( I mean I can blog and breast feed.)
I know it sounds like a happy ending and pretty much it is. Breastfeeding time is my blogging time now that is how far we have come. I thought all the struggles were over until I found out what mastitis is. Very painful is what it is. For the exact definition you can find it on Web MD. Anyways I got it, called my doctor, and got the script. That was the end of that. Wrong. I have had it for over a month now and am getting huge blisters from it. I happened to go to my doctor today for a check up, so I mentioned it to him that I am wimping out and the pain is getting to me. He couldn't believe that I still had it and when he saw how big my blisters were he got on to me. Apparently it is supposed to go away with antibiotics in three days. I had no clue. He couldn't believe I endured the pain that long. He gave me another script and told me to call him if I still was having problems. He then caught me as I was walking out the door of the clinic and grabbed my arm. I mean it if you still have problems in three days call me don't wait. Oops. It isn't the first time that I have waited so long about a problem, but I didn't realize I was that bad until I had a doctor come after me to make sure I understood. Moral of the story if you get mastitis and it lasts longer than a week when on a script call your doctor. : )
Other than that breastfeeding is going well for us. We both enjoy it and seem to have the procedure down. (I am even enjoying it through the pain.)Hunter and I am both benefiting from the health benefits from breastfeeding and Tony is starting to get less squeamish about me breastfeeding in public. (Yes I am covered thanks to a hooter hider made by Cindy Abraham. Course he is so afraid that someone might accidentally catch a glimpse of my boob. The horror!)
So all you mothers out there having struggles with breast feeding keep up the good work and determination. You will get there. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. My goal is 14 months. I will keep you posted on my progress. Oh and if you want some one to talk to jot me a line!
Posted by Mercedes at 10:20 AM