Wordful Wednesday – Happy World Breastfeeding Week

*WARNING – Boobs and Nursing Pics to follow. But no nipples. I don’t do nipple pictures. It would be a bad latch if you could see them…

Today marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week. Something all of you know I am very passionate about (or should know if you’re new :).)

I have hailed the benefits of nursing Cedella, how important a bond it is, and how, even past two years old, it is one of the best nutrition I have ever given my children.

But I haven’t really talked much about Isora nursing probably because it’s just so normal and comfortable. And thankfully we have had no issues with nursing. She latched on a few moments after being born and has been sucking her way to good health ever since.

Isora nursing mere moments after she was born while we were still in the tub.

Though I want to believe it goes without saying that breast milk is the most perfect food you can give your baby I know that many people think that formula is just as good. It’s not. It’s adequate and will get the job done, sure. But it’s not Liquid Gold. Don’t believe me? The World Health Organization can school you.

I know that in so many circumstances many women can’t breastfeed (or continue to do so) often due to having to return to work so soon after having their babies. Or after having health problems or complications from giving birth. That sucks. On both accounts. But I understand.

What I don’t understand is having a free and infinitely better food source at your disposal and not using it. I like free. And healthy. Free and healthy? Yes please.

I know, I know, there are lots of other reasons women don’t or can’t breastfeed and I’m over-simplifying the issue. I feel this is an individual choice to be made and not regulated or legislated, but common sense should prevail and yet it doesn’t.

It’s hard to know what is more often the case. Is it that many women don’t have the information they need about why breastfeeding is so important? They are lacking help and support in starting and continuing their nursing (including help figuring out their right to pump in their workplace)?

Or is it that formula is just so much easier to use? Cause my ‘bottles’ are always warm and ready, and nothing’s easier than whipping out a boob. (Just ask Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty ;))

Simply put my Breastaurant* is always open and there’s only one (well, sometimes two) customers. (*Thanks Aunt Jacqueline for that term!)

Isora is an amazing little nurser. She can empty a breast in five minutes flat and tanks herself up during the day so that she gets about an 8 hour stretch of sleep every night. Yes, my nursing infant sleeps through the night. It’s not just an myth.

Izzie nursing on the beach. She then fell fast asleep. Nursing Champ.

Nursing with Cedella was something I did a lot of research about and made an informed decision. And it was HARD.

Though she nursed right away it was hard knowing when to feed her and wondering if she was ‘getting enough’. Don’t we all?

When my milk came in I was so engorged and sore for days that I would just cry and cry while she nursed cause it hurt so bad. I remember milking myself like a cow in the shower to relieve some of the pressure. It sucked.

Sore nipples for the first three months? Yep. Had them. Thought it was normal until I asked my friend Kelle about it. It was NOT normal. It was a bad latch.

Bitten nipples? Ugh. Those were the worst.

Leaking nipples at the most inopportune times? Man. This has happened more times than I can count. I have always completely forgotten about nursing pads. Oops.

I know. It sounds miserable. But for all of the issues I had with Cedella as soon as I found support it was like all of those issues started seeming smaller, or at least, more manageable. By the end of my first La Leche League meeting (which I’m sure I cried at) I felt a rush of relief and a renewed sense of purpose and strength.

I continued attending the Series meetings throughout my pregnancy with Isora. Helping to set myself up to start a strong nursing relationship from the beginning. And crazier yet, setting myself up to tandem nurse a toddler and a newborn (tandem referring to two children nursing from the same mother NOT necessarily at the same time. Cause I haven’t gotten that desperate to silence them both simultaneously yet).

And you know what? It worked.

Nursing the baby while comforting the toddler. Don’t I look thrilled? All in a day’s work.

Sure, I had engorgement, and it hurt like hell. But it was much better than the first time and didn’t last as long. My nipples are fine and not even a little bit sore. And leaking still happens. Because I’m lazy forgetful Mom of two and you’re all lucky if you see me out and about and my teeth are brushed.

If you’re pregnant or thinking about starting a family please consider breastfeeding your children. There are so many incredible benefits that far outweigh the challenges. And there is so much help and support out there if you need it. La Leche League International and WIC are great places to start.

In fact, just ask me. Me and my kids are down with the Boob!!

My Isora…a total Boob Man. 

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! And Happy W Wednesday too!!

 

 

Comments

  1. Oh these are just lovely! You are a nursing superstar! I nursed my daughter for 2-1/2 years. She’s 3 now and still remembers it and asks from time to time, but she self-weaned so I’m all dried up. lol Wishing you continued breastfeeding success and thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog!
    Kristi {at} Live and Love Out Loud recently posted..Dole Plantation {Wordless/Wordful Wednesday}

  2. What a wonderfully encouraging and educational post! Great to meet another lactivist who is so passionate about breastfeeding support and education.

    I also don’t understand why some moms don’t even try to nurse their babies, but everybody’s story is different. I would have missed out on 5+ years of breastfeeding my son – I loved to be able to do that for him, every minute of it. And I didn’t mind all the health benefits for me a bit :)
    Dagmar ~ Dagmar’s momsense recently posted..Meet Smitty, and Enjoy 7 Other Family-Friendly Movies

  3. I had a difficult time nursing my first-born; Natalie & I passed thrush back & forth and I finally couldn’t take the unbearable pain anymore and gave it up after 2 months. In hindsight, I wish I would’ve sought out help. I believe that once we got through the worst of it, nursing would’ve gotten easier. No one told me that she had a bad latch… which I do believe was one of the causes of the thrush.

    The 2nd time around… Sedona latched on beautifully and never let go for nearly 2 years! It was fantastic. The only issue was that Sedona refused a bottle until about 9 months… but I honestly didn’t care. She slept through the night at 6 weeks (unlike her formula-fed sister who didn’t sleep until 14 MONTHS) If Sedona did wake up in the middle of the night, I’d nurse her right back to sleep… we never had to walk floors, warm a bottle, etc. We were so rested (and HAPPY) in comparison to the first time around. I never understand the families who choose to supplement with formula at night. You’re *choosing* to get up out of bed, warm up a bottle, feed the baby something that may take longer to process, give the baby way more gas than nursing would and potentially keep them up longer instead of a soothing, sleep-inducing, ready-without-momma-having-to-move-out-of-bed breast?! Doesn’t make sense to me.

    All that being said — you have to do what’s best for you & your family. I understand both sides of the coin, but I think that support & education is crucial before you make that choice. Something that “formula” families may not take the time to seek out. I always tell my new-mom friends to try it… and if it doesn’t work or feel right, ask for help before you give it up.

    Really great post, Alexia.
    Kelli @ Momma Needs a Beer recently posted..Silver & Gold

  4. Molly says:

    Good for you and I completely agree about breast is best. I fed both my babies until they were tow years old. Both of them just gradually self weaned towards the end until I realised that bedtime was now story time not booby time any more.

    I loved feeding them. I was one of my all time favourite parts of having babies and the last image reminded me so much of looking down at my breast and seeing them guzzling away. Thanks for sparking that precious wonderful memory.

    Mollyxxx
    Molly recently posted..Day 213 – The Olive Branch

  5. I love this. I have BFed all four of my kids. Including twins. And was so sad when my Ped (whom I loved) told me there was very little chance I would have enough for two. I laughed and said, “You don’t really believe that do you?”
    Well long story short, the three of us proved them wrong at every weigh in. I know it is not possible for everyone. But I think planting a seed of hope is more valuable than doubt.
    Andie@multiplemama recently posted..Guest post Wednesday

  6. Jessica says:

    Great post! I would just like to chime in and add that I received wonderful support from our county health department. They sent a visiting nurse to check on us after Avery was born, and I was able to attend free breast feeding classes at the health department. The advice and support I received there sent us on the road to successful breastfeeding for almost three years.

  7. Tmuffin says:

    Stopping by from NPN…

    It must be so rewarding to have such an easier breastfeeding experience the second time. But I bet it makes you appreciate how you stuck through it the first time. You’re a dedicated mama!
    Tmuffin recently posted..Show Off Your Boobie Beanies

  8. Teresha says:

    You are a breastfeeding diva! Maybe it’s because we learn so much from the first go round, but breastfeeding #2 has been infinitely easier and rewarding! I am actually more relaxed and enjoying the bond.

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