Original Post by Desiree at http://sosewmama.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-breastfed-family.html#more
All three of my children have been breastfed. Each of our breastfeeding journeys differ in experience and duration. My first child has been the ONLY of my children to have a bottle. Which was forced upon us in the hospital. After we left that nightmare, she was exclusively breastfed.
My first child (A) had an extremely difficult time trying to latch. This was brought on by a multitude of factors. Being that I was still young and it was my first child, I had no idea what to expect or how to learn the right way to breastfeed. It's mainly trial and error. I had no experience with baby A. No family that could teach me how to do it. The fact that I had an emergency Cesarean section wouldn't have even mattered, if I could move my body at all. The numbness consumed me. If only baby A and I could get that skin to skin contact right away. Maybe things would have been different.
Baby A - 3 days old
The thought of a lactation consultant didn't come to mind until the medical staff forced me to supplement. I was immensely distraught over not being able to do what was completely natural.
I remember thinking to myself, "How can I not know how to do this?" The questions I would ask myself would just make the pain more intense. I felt like I was letting my baby down. My body was letting me down. The pain was unbearable.This is the most natural act that I could do, and yet I could not get it to work. My experience was dreadful. The Nurses were of no help. They were awful even. There was even a nurse who was getting flustered by my lack of knowledge in breastfeeding. She would hold tight onto my breast and try to force it into my baby A's mouth. It was so painful. This nurse was far to forceful, and I now know that this is not the proper way to latch a baby. You do not need to grip the breast the way she was. Honestly I feel if I was left alone, I could have managed to do it.
Finally I got in contact of the hospitals lactation Nurse. This woman was my guardian angel. She even went as far as to tell the medical staff how wrong they were for treating in such a way. She could tell I was emotionally broken. I wasn't in tears over depression, but over how hard they were being on me. It was them who didn't know how to teach.
My husband was amazing. He was by my side through it all. Trying to calm my frazzled nerves and broken spirit. He was of far more help then the untrained staff ever could be. Without him I doubt I could make it as far as I did. Now it comes just as natural as I wish it did then. It's truly a learned skill.
It's funny, you hear a lot of talk about hospitals pushing breastfeeding. Those people do not understand the truth. I have lived the horror of "booby traps." They forced formula on my baby within 24 hours. Milk takes between 2-5 days normally to come in. Weight loss is a normal fact in any newborn. Yet, they were so upset with her weight loss they made me feel like a horrible mother. That lactation nurse should have been called right away. Regardless of my inability to move. They knew my plan to breastfeed. Ironically, R.I. was one of the first states to ban the sample bags that have baby formula.
My milk supply took almost a week to come in with baby A because of their lack of knowledge, and my own. It took 3 days with baby B, whom was also born via Cesarean. With Baby C it took just 2 days for my milk to come in full force. She was my best Cesarean delivery, and I was up and walking that day. That experience was actually pretty amazing. Even though I wished for a VBA2C.
Now, as a mother of three with my youngest child still breastfed I have a lot that I could tell you. There are so many misconceptions out there. Some people do not even understand booby traps. I have joked about breastfeeding baby C until she is 5. My secret is that I just might. If that is what her heart desires, who am I to not follow through. She may not make it that far since most children self wean around 2 any how. But I'm ready for however long our breastfeeding journey is. With that said, I will make this journey the longest. Who knows if I will ever nurse another child. That experience is far to incredible to just want to be done with it. I wish I could have nursed my other children longer then I did. There were so many factors surrounding our weaning though.
It's adorable how interested my older children are when I nurse baby C. A likes to nurse her babies too. I haven't witnessed B nursing any of his dolls yet, but I'm sure it will happen. A loves to cuddle up with mommy when baby C is nursing. We are doing this as a family now. Just as natural as it all should be. I know that my children will grow up knowing that breasts are not just sexual objects. They will know the breasts true purpose, and I hope my children are better for that.
From what I can remember, I never saw any family breastfeed their children. Honestly, I never saw it at all. To this day I can honestly tell you that I have not seen another mother breastfeeding their child. That is such a sad fact. It saddens me because I know others have seen me nursing my babies. I'm just one of so many mothers who have seen the looks of those who feel uncomfortable by it.
Baby C - 4 months
My advice to you:
Make everyday, every goal, and every milestone count!No matter how long you breastfeed, you are giving your baby the very best that you can.Do not feel bad if you cannot breastfeed. Take the good with the bad.Read a lot of books. You can never learn enough. Every breastfeeding experience is different, so do not judge others, or yourself. Be proud of yourself! Way to go Mama!