Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Breastfeeding in all it's glory

I have a degree in Nutrition, so I know how good Breastfeeding is for baby and for Mom. I also helped teach a breastfeeding class for a job, so I know some of the tips and tricks. And before I was going to have to do it myself when Little M was born, I took the class at the local hospital.

None of these can prepare you for what it's actually like.

After I had Little M, I was in the hospital telling Big M to make sure the nurses didn't give Little M a bath before I had a chance to nurse him (the lanugo on the baby is supposed to help them find mommy). So we tried to nurse. We knew we were only dealing with Colostrum here, so TINY amounts of maple syrup consistency fluid, but it didn't seem like Little M was really getting it. It took several tries with the Lactation Consultant before we both really got how it was supposed to look and feel when he was latched on properly.

And then, two days later, my milk came in. All of a sudden I looked down and I looked like I'd been entered in the hospital's wet t-shirt contest. And it smelled like I was going a bit sour. I managed to dig out one of my nursing bras and some pads and got those on and that's when I was informed I'd have to try to nurse the baby, then pump to get my milk going. I thought they were insane, did they not SEE the soaking wet hospital gown I'd just taken off?

And then I was told I'd have to use a syringe and tube to supplement Little M's intake until my milk was keeping up with him. So there was Big M, mooing at me when I was hooked up to the hospital's breast pump. Then he'd sit next to me when I'd nurse and slip that tube in the side of Little M's mouth and we'd let Little M suck at his own pace. Which was strong and fast! That child could suck the pimentos out of a jar of olives in one breath. He had the 50ml syringes emptied one right after the other, we could hardly keep up with changing them out.

Fortunately he was able to build up my milk supply without too much pumping after a few weeks, and we've kept up with it by still doing the breastfeeding even though Little M eats some cereal now.

I just really like the quiet time I get to have with my son, it's just the two of us, and I can sing songs, and tell him stories, and just look into those sweet little eyes and thank God for giving us this little miracle. It will make me sad to have to eventually give up that connection.

Nowadays I'm pretty much a breastfeed anywhere kind of gal. I just want my son to get fed when he needs to be fed. I don't jump up onto a table and make a big announcement about it, but I also don't hide in a dirty bathroom stall to get my son a place to eat. I'm as discreet and I can be without feeling like I should be ashamed of what I'm doing. Because Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing. It's the most amazing thing you can do for your child. And if that means the Daddy has to give up the fun part of Boobies until the baby is done with them, then suck it up guys, we had to go through the pregnancy AND labor, you can live with this.

Anyway, I know that some people try and just can't, either they don't make enough milk or some other problem, but I also know of some people that can and just don't want to try. I'd love to be able to help those people.

OK, eyes closing on their own...must end here...more tomorrow.

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