…Even When it was Hard
A Testimony From a Lactation Consultant
Let me be honest, breastfeeding was really hard in the beginning! REALLY hard! I’m talking LONG feedings! I had low milk supply which made for a really fussy baby, who hardly napped. There were no cute baby naps for me. It felt like I was breastfeeding around the clock and had her glued to me ALL DAY LONG. The first 2 months were brutal. Really.
The first 5 months were hard too, though not as bad. Thankfully I did not have breastfeeding pain, but my baby was so slow to gain weight that the Pediatrician had us coming in for weight checks every week, two weeks, once a month and then tapered off. I don’t even remember now how long it went on, I think it was 6 months.
I hated pumping. Honestly. I knew I needed to do it and I just hated it. I managed to pump the other side while I was nursing her but that was it for those first 6 months. Pumping was often very discouraging seeing I wasn’t getting much milk and at the same time I hated just sitting holding those darn flanges for 20 freaking minutes! UGH. I still don’t like pumping but as a lactation consultant (IBCLC) I understand when it is necessary.
But, despite making about half of what my baby needed, it got a lot easier when she started eating solid foods. We didn’t start until about month 7 and we were slow to introduce new foods. At that point I knew she was developmentally ready for solid foods and her regular meals with solids meant my milk was complimentary!
I remember being so thankful that I made it to month 10. This is when things completely changed! She started asking for it herself. She would tap my chest to tell me that she wanted milk. Essentially there was no work for me to do. I no longer had to remember when we last fed and if she needed it. It truly was the most adorable thing. I kind of miss it!
They are so adorable when they ask for it. You develop your own words for it. Ours is mimis.
You just have no idea how easy it can be! REALLY!
When they tell you your mimis “makes them feel better” <3
Because they are so cute when they get in your lap or sit next to you saying they want it.
Its sooooooo easy to put them asleep with it.
For the regular stimulation on both sides of their body and face for equal development.
For the continued antibodies, of course!
They don’t need near the same amount of milk as they do when they are little!!
It helps them to reconnect, sort through their activities, and calm down after a hard day or lots of development.
Anytime they are upset you are certain you can calm them down almost instantly with giving them your breast.
And by age 3, if you go that long, and they tell you they “love your mimis!” your heart will simply melt away and you will be SO glad that you made it as long as you did…and will really, truly miss the sweet time you have with your little one just you and she cuddling and nursing. I have decided I’m going to do something to commemorate our special nursing years, probably a necklace for the two of us.
Truly, for every mom out there struggling, I want to say to you… you can do this! It IS worth it. And when you have made it to month 4 or 6 (for some even by 1 month!) and it is 100x easier you will be glad. When you make it to month 10 or 12 and they are literally tapping on your chest, or asking you for your milk, you will not even remember the days you had to remember if it was time to feed the baby or if the baby was crying because he is hungry…. HE will tell you he wants it and you won’t even have to wonder.
However far you make it breastfeeding, remember this is YOUR journey… you get to say when you are done… and all that breastfeeding you did helped to nurture, grow, and protect your baby. Much love!