My Breastfeeding Story & Nursing Must Haves for New Moms!
Breastfeeding is hard! Like real hard. It hurts and can be super uncomfortable for many reasons at first. I never thought I would be as passionate about breastfeeding as I am today. The truth is, I'm a mom to four boys. I had twins at 18. They were born early, at 35 weeks. Overall, born healthy, one of the twins stayed in the NICU for 12 hours due to some breathing issues, but the three of us were discharged together after 3 days. A few weeks went on as I tried to juggle life as new mom to twins boys, I quickly gave up and did not take care of myself. I would skip meals, not drink enough of water, and my body wasn't nourished. I started formula by the time the first month of life. By 12 weeks old, I had to put my twins in daycare so I could go back to school and work. Their first two years of life were rough! Always sick! Ear infections, croup, colds, flu, foot hand mouth disease and everything else a child gets exposed to from daycare. *Twins- Daycare, formula fed = Sick
By the time I was 21, I was pregnant with baby number 3. I was determined to give breastfeeding another try. I did not want another sick baby. I was empowered by all the health benefits for me and baby. My little boy was born and he was tongue tied! Within the first 48 hours, he ripped my nipples to shreds and could not latch on. It was SO painful. I did not know what I was getting myself into. But I did NOT give up. I made it two whole months of nursing around the clock. And then I got mastitis! OUCH. My supply was running low after that and I knew our time has ended. Shortly after I stopped nursing, my son started getting sick. By the time he was one, and following the same foot steps as his older twin brothers, he also needed tubes in his ears due to all the ear infections. I had to relive the cycle of sickness again. I thought it was interesting how he wasn't in daycare, but still getting sick all the time. I assumed those big brothers were spreading germs from preschool by giving baby kisses. *Baby - No Daycare, Formula Fed = Sick
And then, SURPRISE!!!! At 27, I found out I was pregnant for the third, and FINAL time. (I got my tubes tied!) I was blessed with a healthy, beautiful little boy. My fourth son, and last child. At this time, I was more experienced as a mother and I was DETERMINED to nurse my last little baby to at least 6 months. Because at that time, I had an out of state wedding when he would be 6 months and I knew I wasn't going to pump and he wasn't coming! I thought I would be done just in time for my trip. My baby was also tongue tied, and we had the problem fixed when he was 5 weeks old. I pumped+nursed like crazy and used a nipple shield to help ease the pain. My nipple shield was my life saver. Thankfully, I work from home. My baby and I were home together 24/7, which made pumping and breastfeeding around the clock easy. I built a freezer stash of breastmilk and I was beyond proud of all the liquid gold my body made for my baby. Fast forward, 17 months, I'm STILL breastfeeding my baby. And you'll never believe this... He's only had ONE ear infection in his WHOLE life. A few colds here and there. No sickness, no croup or infections. He is beyond perfect and so healthy. He was exclusively breastfed for one whole year. I beat my goal of six months. I pumped through my trip and it was hard as hell. But I did it. I would dream of my baby and dedicated to continue to nourish his little body with the milk made from my body. I love that. So amazing what the female body can do. *Baby, No Daycare + Breastfed Exclusively for the first 12 months = Healthy
I'm so proud of my breastfeeding journey. I never thought I would nurse my son this long. I never thought I would handle the demands of nursing and being a milk maid, literally. But there is something so special about the bond that we have. Not to mention, I can't even believe the science behind the health benefits. I see it first hand. My only breastfed baby was my healthiest one. My only regret is that I didn't try harder with my other sons. I was young and didn't have enough knowledge and support I do now. My whole family is so supportive. I feel comfortable nursing in public now. But I have to say, I've had to nurse my son in a bathroom stall multiple times during our first year. He refused the bottle and food. He didn't have any interest in self feeding or ANY bottle. I honestly feel like I spent HUNDREDS of dollars on multiple brands of bottles and sippy cups. He only wanted the boob. No bottle. This made it very hard on me. But finally, one day he woke up and decided, I think I'll finally open my mouth and not hit the spoon away. He devoured down a bowl of yogurt and blueberries at 12 months. Life got easier as he started to eat more food. I've had my fair share of struggles on this journey but it truly has made our bond and love so much stronger. And now it's ME who is having a hard time letting go... sniff sniff.
(I am truly passionate about MY story and works best for ME. I'm not bashing formula fed babies by any means. I believe FED is best. Whether your feeding your baby with the boob or formula, good for you! Your doing what is best for you and baby. I just want to share my story and help encourage other nursing mamas with their nursing struggles. I found the more support you have, the more successful you are, with anything! Being a mom is hard enough, so lets support each other during this journey of motherhood!)
5 Must Have's For The New Breastfeeding Mom: (All items conveniently sold at Target!)
1) Medela Contact Nipple Shield
2) Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Tube
3) Milkies Milk-Saver Breast Milk Collector and Storage
4) Lansinoh Ultimate Protection Nursing Pads
5) Multiple Nursing Bra's & Nursing Tanktops
To Book Your Breastfeeding Mini Photoshoot - [email protected]
Helpful Breastfeeding Resources:
La Leche League - https://www.llli.org
Kelly Mom Blog - https://kellymom.com
March of Dimes - https://www.marchofdimes.org
*Find support at your local hospital's lactation center *I personally attended some of these breastfeeding groups at Waukesha Memorial with my son!