For some moms breastfeeding is what they have always wanted to do and for others, it is something they never thought about. Amy grew up around breastfeeding, as her mom breastfed all of her siblings. So when she became pregnant with her first child, it was a no brainer – she was going to breastfeed. “It was an easy decision for me, and I didn't put much thought into the alternative (formula feed). I made sure that my family and doctors/pediatricians knew that it was my plan at the very beginning.”
Thankfully, the more people she discussed her plan with the more people she had in her corner to support her wishes and help her through anything that came along. There has always been one person who has been anti breastfeeding since the beginning. Even now, with Amy’s third child, this person is dreadfully against Amy nursing her daughter who is over the age of one. “It has been hard dealing with her negativity when she's our only option for child care when we need it. I've just learned throughout the years to hold my ground, and not let her negative comments impact my journey of nursing.”
All three of Amy’s children preferred one breast over the other. Many moms have this issue, but with her children it is extreme – they will only nurse off of one breast. So with each child, she could solely nurse off of one side from very early on.
This made things specially challenging this time around because she has reoccurring mastitis in that breast. Amy does not have the option to nurse on the side without the mastitis, so she has no choice but to nurse through the pain – every feed. It is recommended to nurse through it to help avoid further infection and to keep your supply up in that breast, however, it is often some relief to have the option to nurse on the opposite side as well. “It wasn't easy, but I managed to get through it.”
What kept her going
“Knowing that this was what I really wanted to do, and remind myself of it often. Even through the restless nights and the hardships, I reminded myself that this won't last forever, and that I can get through it day by day.”
The fact is, formula is expensive. Even when you get help, the money adds up the bigger the baby gets. Breastfeeding is free. Sure you can buy a pump, or breast pads or a nipple shield but none of this compares to the expense of daily formula. For Amy this is another motivator to keep going.
Amy is also lucky to have an exceptionally supportive husband who both supports her decision and encourages her to keep going. He helps her with the other kids when she needs it and is there to back her up if something comes up.
“I love the physical and emotional bond that it creates between a mother and baby. I haven't found anything that comes close to the same feeling I get knowing that I'm the only one who can provide my baby with their feeding needs. It helps us both relax, and it creates that special one on one time in a house full of other children who also need mommy.”
“I would tell other moms to not give up, even when things get rough. To take things day by day when they're struggling with breastfeeding issues. I think the important thing is to have a good support system in place if breastfeeding is really what the mother wants to do. Facebook breastfeeding groups, lactation consultants, and pro breastfeeding pediatricians can really help a mother through their breastfeeding journey.”
Feel free to comment below and tell us how you get through the day to day struggles of breastfeeding. If you would like to share your story through images and the blog (you can write it or I can) please contact Miracle Kisses here. I would love to help you document your story.