My Breastfeeding Journey

The beginning

Once I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed my child. When my son came into the world on February 1st 2019, it was through an emergency caesarean section. So I could not feed my son right away like I originally wanted to do. After, an hour in the post operation room I was finally able to nurse him for the first time. It hurts the first time he latched on, his latch was not right because he wasn’t opening his mouth wide enough. Since his latch was not wide enough it caused my nipples to bruise and bleed, it was very painful in a sensitive the slightest touch made me want to cry.

Another problem we had was my son was constantly spitting up from having amniotic fluid in his lungs. Since he was a caesarean baby he was unable to get the amniotic fluid out of his lungs, which babies born vaginally do during the birthing process. He spitting up breastmilk with the amniotic fluid, so I had to feed him more often.

Like every newborn my son was cluster feeding his first few nights. Anyone who has breastfed a cluster feeding baby knows how exhausting and draining it is. My son was eating every half hour for 10 minutes each time. So while trying to recover from having a major surgery (caesarean section) I was also feeding a newborn all day and night with zero sleep.   

I thought about quitting in those early days, we even got formula from the hospital. One thing my husband and I did in the beginning was give our son a pacifier. You are not supposed to give a breastfeeding baby a pacifier or bottles for at least 3 weeks so they do not get confused since the sucking is very different. However, the pacifier actually helped our son learn to open his mouth wider making his latch a lot better.

The Struggle Is Real.

I had so many fears in the beginning, on whether or not my milk would come in or if I can produce enough. I had friends and family members who were unable to breastfeed, those who were able to only last a few weeks because of lack of supply. When my milked came in I felt so much relief, I even had an over supple in the beginning.

In had several clogged ducts, this terrified me because clogged ducts can lead to mastitis. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it occurs when a blocked duct doesn’t clear, it causes swelling and inflammation. On top of having a tender inflamed breast, you can become achy, feverish and develop flu like systems. I was able remove the clogs before they turned into mastitis, through heating pads, messaging, and different breastfeeding positions.

When my son was 5 months old he got thrush. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, its white, slightly raised bumps in your mouth. It is an infection in which the fungus candida albicans accumulates in the mouth, aka a yeast infect in your mouth. I did research when I first started to breastfeed, so I knew what to look out for. Once I saw the first signs on his tongue I got him into the doctor as quickly as possible. It took 3 dose of medicine a day and two weeks to fully clear up.

My son was born 6 pounds 10 ounce, he was little. He has been in the lower percentile for his weight since he has been born never getting about the 10th percentile. I seen other babies his age or younger than him gaining weight so rapidly, while my son was gaining but always remaining small. He was in 0 to 3 size clothes until he was 6 months old. I was worried my son wasn’t eating enough. After doing research, talking to other mothers, and my son’s doctor I came to realize my son is gaining fine he is just going to be smaller. As long as he doesn’t still seem hungry after he nurses I know he’s getting enough milk.

The Reactions

My husband has always been supportive. He left completely up to me on whether or not we breastfed. He does like how it saves us money, and how it helps with keeping him from getting sick.  He doesn’t like how when I have to feed my son with other around us I usually go off to a different room to feed our son (I am personally not comfortable breastfeeding in front of others and my son likes to play peek-a-boo with the cover). Me leaving to go feed our son hinders what is going on and creates a bit of awkwardness. Breastfeeding has made it harder for my husband to form a bond with our son because he couldn’t feed him (he did form a bond it just took a little longer).

In my husband family my son is the only one to ever be breastfed. They do not understand how breastfed babies differ from formula fed babies. Breast fed babies differ by feedings are a lot faster, pooping is different, they do not need water as early, they don’t get sick as easily, their weight is different and they do not sleep as well.  I have tried to explain how it is different, but since they have never experienced it before they do not understand. Sometimes they feel like they know what is best for him and want us to switch him to formula so fatten him up. However, as an exclusively breastfed baby he hardly takes a bottle and doesn’t like to eat as much as formula fed babies.

I have lost friends over breastfeeding because they were unable to breastfeed (look at mom experience guilt blog for more details). However, I have also become closer to friends through my breastfeeding journey.

 I know people will come in go and not like things or become jealous of what others do when it comes to parenting, however breastfeeding is something that is very personal to me.

Would I do it again?

Yes I would defiantly do it all again. My first breastfeeding experience is starting to wind down with the beginning stages of weening off. I will breastfeed all of my future children, long as I am able to.

Thank you for reading this very personal blog

Attachment Parenting: How I Do It

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

What is it?

Attachment parenting is a parenting philosophy that proposes methods which aim to promote the attachment of parent and infant by being responsive to the emotions of your child and encourages closeness.

The 4 principals of Attachment parenting

  1. Co-sleeping – either in the same room as parents or (with appropriate safety precautions) in the same bed. This may involve having bedtime occur on the child’s, not the parent’s, schedule.
  2. Feeding on demand – allowing the child to set the timing of feeding (whether breast- or bottle-fed), along with self-weaning/ partial self-weaning.
  3. Holding and touching – keeping the child physically near, whether through cuddling and cradling, following near once child becomes mobile or by wearing on a front- or backpack arrangement.
  4. Responsiveness to crying – not letting the child “cry it out,” but instead intervening early in the crying bout, reacting to the child’s distress before it gets out of control.

Finding a balance

Attachment parenting is looked down upon because people believe it is draining on the mother/ father/ care giver, however attachment parenting encourages a sense of balance. Staying responsive with your child helps create a knowledge of what your child needs, taking the guessing game away on why they are upset. This gives you a better peace of mind and time for other things. Creating a balance of self- care and infant care helps create a better sense mind and make both parent and infant calmer and happier.

Many people also believe attachment parenting leads to spoiled children, since the children don’t learn to “cry it out” and are held a lot. However as the child becomes more mobile they will become more independent. Several decades of longitudinal and brain research have proven that humans’ optimal physical, mental and emotional development depends on meeting the infant’s instinctive relationship needs. For instance, brain research indicates that the ability to self-soothe and manage anxiety later in life originates in having been reliably soothed as an infant.

As children get older their needs change and so should parenting. They want to be more independent and parents should adjust to let them a have independence, while still making sure they behave and don’t get injured. Letting your child still feel connected to you, while still allowing them to adventure will keep them from being rebellious and out of control toddlers. Some parents struggle not to “over parent”, a good parent is knowing when to keep our hands off and let him stumble, also when to set a firm limit and let him understand it is okay to be upset or unhappy.

What I do

I do attachment parenting by breast feeding on demand. I baby wear, however we do try to use the stroller. he doesn’t like to use the stroller when a lot of people are around him because he gets over whelmed and can’t see mommy, so he wants held. The cry it out method has never worked with my son, we have tried it several times. When he is upset he wants to be cuddled and will keep screaming until he is held or nursing. My son is starting to crawl and learning to walk, so I giving him more time not being held. He doesn’t like when I leave the room, he follows me and if he can’t get to me he will scream cry until I come back. He does prefer to sleep in my arms for naps, but I can lay him in his boppy pillow as well.

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