Day Seven | New Baby with New Challenges
What made you want to breastfeed?
I really didn’t think of breastfeeding as choice. I am the oldest of six and my mother breastfed all of us. My husband is also a physician and I was well educated on the benefits of breastfeeding.
I told myself, that I was going to give it my best shot. I was pretty determined to make it work and I am so grateful that I have been able to do it with both of my boys.
How has it been different to nurse a newborn after having nursed before?
It is really amazing how different each child is even when it comes to breastfeeding. There little personalities are so apparent when breastfeeding even when they are brand-new. My second has definitely been a bit harder to get on a schedule and even to feed with his lip tie but I wouldn’t trade these moments just to make it easier.
How do you handle nursing in public? Have you had anyone approach you?
I do not avoid nursing in public at all. If they need to eat, they need to eat. I am way too social to become a hermit just because I am breastfeeding. I always wear a nursing cover simply as a courtesy. Although, it doesn’t bother me if I accidentally flash a boob.
Our society has hyper-sexualized just about everything these days and I don’t shy away from the opportunity to engage in a civil dialogue. I am raising boys, I have to be willing to have the conversations with them and take the opportunity to educate them according to our households beliefs before someone else does.
What kind of support do you have?
I have an extremely supportive husband. my mother who breasted all six of us, and my aunt who is a NICU Nurse and a Lactation Consultant.
What does breastfeeding mean to you?
I don’t think that anyone, even a mom, fully understands the weight of breastfeeding. Even though we have the knowledge, I don’t think that all of the benefits, sacrifice, etc. are ever completely felt.
I have to remind myself how grateful I am to be able to breastfeed my children. I get to witness my body do something amazing and feed my children, bond with my baby, sacrifice my boobs, save my family the cost of formula, bond with my children, etc.
What is difficult about breastfeeding? How have you gotten through it or what do you still need help with?
The initial pain, sensation, and positioning for breastfeeding can be challenging. It is not for the faint of heart. I was determined to push through and with the support that I had, I figured out what worked.
My second was definitely more challenging. He had a rough start to life outside of the womb and as a result took much longer to latch properly and even fully nurse. He was two months old before we got on a good schedule and he would take both sides before passing out again. I was definitely ready to just pump and give him a bottle but I am so glad that I pushed through.
Have you ever felt 'touched out'? If so how did you handle it?
Luckily, I have not experienced this. I am exhausted, sure, and want time to myself but I wouldn’t describe it as being touched out. I feel extremely blessed to have my children, having been able to carry them in utero, and breastfeed them. My mindset is not at all that my body isn’t my own. I have witnessed my body do amazing things and I feel honored to have been able to do it. It is just a season and soon it will all be over.
What is your favorite part of breastfeeding?
I love that I get exclusive time with my children when I am breastfeeding. There are often times when we are inundated with company and I get to excuse myself, breastfeed, and have intimate time with my child.
How does your older son interact with you while you nurse now?
He is very intrigued when I am breastfeeding. I simply say that his brother is eating and drinking milk. We pull out the “special” activities while I am breastfeeding in order to keep him occupied. ie. Markers, Painting with Water, screen time, etc.
How do you balance the time your newborn needs with your older son so he still feels important too?
I don’t know that you ever fully master this and or truly find a balance in this. I take it one day at a time and give it my all to do my best. I try hard to spend time with my eldest when my newborn is sleeping and include him in activities with the newborn when he is awake. I like to ask my eldest to “help” as a redirect rather than saying no all day long. It seems to just give the day a better overall feel.
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