Day Thirty | Jody's Journey | A New Mom Breastfeeding Story
I have always thought the bond I see with other women and their babies breastfeeding was really beautiful and it is something I always really wanted to share with my child. I also am of the mindset that nature knows best in most things and I love that my amazing body is capable of sustaining the life of my son! I don't take a minute of the time we have nursing for granted - it's my favorite time to spend with him.
The biggest way I prepared before my son was born was by joining the Badass Breastfeeders of Colorado Facebook group through a friend of mine. I followed it closely throughout my pregnancy and whenever I saw a question asked that I thought might come up for me or that interested me, I would read through all the comments to see what the advice and answers were. I'm so thankful for the group, it's one of the best things about Facebook for me!
I have been blessed with a baby who is a great latcher and has been from day one. So far, our journey hasn't had too many struggles and for that I'm thankful. The thing that was difficult at the beginning that I didn't anticipate was how awkward it felt to hold him while he was eating - It felt really unnatural and it was kind of hard to get comfortable which I didn't expect. But I had a great IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) in the hospital and she helped us so much and gave me a lot of good advice to make it more comfortable for us both!
We tried cross cradle, football and side lying. While we were in the hospital bed none of them work - it was kind of small and since I was recovering from surgery it was hard to move a lot. But now cross cradle and cradle hold are really working well and then we side lay especially at night!
It just took some time, patience and practice to get it all right. When I got home and started trying the side lying position again, I tried to imagine how other mammals look as they feed their babies lying down (like dogs, cats, etc) and I just tried to relax and picture myself nursing that way. Once I did that I found that my son really liked it and so did I. Now we have our little ritual every morning where he nurses in side lying position and then we snuggle for a while before we get up and about for the day. It's really special and I hope to continue it throughout his life while he's little. I just love the peaceful time with just me and him in the morning and I'm so glad I gave side lying another chance because it has led us to this special little ritual!
Now it did only take about three days for my milk to come in which I know is actually normal - but with him being such a big guy he was losing weight rapidly so it was really stressful on him to only have colostrum that whole time. The stress was causing him some breathing problems which was really scary and ultimately led to my getting a blood transfusion to help my milk come in. (I lost a lot of blood during my c section and was right on the border of it being optional to have it, but once they told me it would help me feed my boy it wasn't even a question).
I feel very fortunate in the fact that I have so much support around me. My family and friends have all been very supportive and understanding of breastfeeding. Most of the women in my life also breastfed their kids and the men in my life are supportive. Or maybe they just have the good sense to not say otherwise!
I have a dear friend who had been in the situation I was in, so I reached out to her and she was able to talk me through and empathize with me. I also had another friend whose son was born the same day as mine and she had the same issues that led to her having a c section also so we commiserated too. My nurses were all so kind too and really made me feel comfortable talking with them about it. I also have a family friend who is like my second mom (my mother passed away about 8 years ago) and she was there with me all the way. Of course, my husband was as supportive as he could be but it would have been much harder without the support of women who could relate exactly to what I was feeling and going through. My hubs is a wonderful man but he doesn't relate the same way a woman does. Sisterhood was crucial to help me through everything and I was so happy to have those connections.
I adore the bond I have with my son. It's a really special and profound feeling knowing I am the only one who can comfort him when he's hungry or scared or tired, etc. I'm also constantly in awe of the fact that not only did I grow and sustain him inside me for nine months, but also that I am now his source of nutrition and continue to sustain and help him grow on the outside too.
Breasts are for feeding babies, lets normalize it! Try to have patience with yourself and with your baby. The more relaxed you are, the easier it'll be for baby. And don't beat yourself up if you have trouble! Ask for help. There are so many good resources out there and you don't have to give up! You're not alone, no matter what your troubles are if you don’t want to!
What possitions work best for you? We'd love to hear in the comments below. If you would like to share your story, please contact me and we can start to plan your session and your blog.