Kathy’s Breastfeeding Journey
When I found out that I was pregnant, breastfeeding was the last thing on my mind. I was so excited to spread the news, find out whether we would have a boy or girl, prepare the nursery accordingly and all of those other ‘important’ details.
As the first few months passed, I was asked quite frequently if I would breastfeed my baby. Without giving it much thought, I just figured it wasn’t something that I would do and would answer people with ‘probably not’.
A colleague of mine at the time asked me not to brush it off without doing some research on it first. She suggested even giving it a try for the first month after birth, and if it still wasn’t something I could continue with then at least I tried. After reading up on the amazing benefits for both mama and baby, I decided it was worth a shot.
About a month or so before my daughters’ expected arrival, my husband and I attended a breastfeeding course through the hospital where I was to deliver. Both he and I walked out with far more knowledge that we had before and felt much more confident that it was something I could do successfully for our baby.
Immediately after my daughter was born, the nurses in the hospital walked me through the best positions to hold the baby, how to get her to latch properly and answered any questions that I had. Luckily, she latched well right away and I was nursing within an hour of her birth.
I won’t lie – the first week was hard! I found myself in pain and becoming frustrated if I couldn’t get her to latch immediately. I know that the lack of sleep and adjusting to our new life with a baby also played a part in my frustration. In those emotional moments, my husband would relate back to things that we learned in the breastfeeding course and made suggestions on things to do differently. Thank goodness he went to that course with me!
The first four weeks flew by, and I had made it to my first goal of breastfeeding: one month. I remember feeling a great sense of accomplishment knowing that I didn’t give up in my times of struggle like I so easily could have.
I then set a new goal for myself – six months. When I reached six months, I knew that nursing for one year wasn’t out of the question but figured that my daughter may have other plans. Luckily for me, she ended up nursing for close to 13 months before finally weaning.
I really had the best experience with breastfeeding and count my blessings that I didn’t ever suffer with blocked ducts, mastitis, etc. I know that what I did was extremely beneficial for both myself and my daughter and LOVED the bonding time I was able to have with her because of it.
Now that I am less than three months away from bringing our second child into the world, I have no doubt in my mind that I will breastfeed again, setting little goals for myself along the way.