Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey

This post has been a long time in the making. It's going to be a bit personal and be prepared for words like nipples! I never realized how I felt about my breastfeeding journey with Bug until these words started flowing, it's long and it's heartfelt. I hope you enjoy. 

The first time I remember seeing someone breastfeed was when I was about thirteen. I was at some kind of shower with my mom (baby or bridal I don't remember), and my Aunt was breastfeeding my little cousin. I remember being really curious about what was going on under the blanket but was too shy to even ask my mom. After that I don't really remember seeing anyone nurse again until I was in college and my childhood best friend nursed her children. That's when I started thinking that when I had children I wanted to nurse them. When I became pregnant with Bug my sister-in-law had just given birth to her son and was nursing him. I had many conversations with her about it and she was open enough with me that she didn't cover up when she nursed him and I could observe what it was all about.

While I was pregnant I read several books on breastfeeding and read everything I could find on the Internet. I was nervous but confident that I wanted to nurse Bug as long as I could. The night she was born I had no idea what to do, but thankfully my sis-in-law was there to guide me through. She jumped right in, grabbed my breast and showed me how to hold it and bring Bug right to it. She latched right away and our nursing journey began.

After a few days at home and some more help from my sis-in-law and others I started feeling a bit defeated. I was in excruciating pain and my poor nipples weren't getting any relief no matter what I tried. At Bugs one week check-up I spoke to a lactation consultant who confirmed what I had already thought, Bug had a "tongue tie". After a quick five minute procedure in her pediatricians office to have her tongue snipped, things changed almost immediately for us.

Our breastfeeding journey continued for 15 months when Bug weaned herself, first from daytime feedings and then bedtime. Now that's not to say there wasn't ups and downs. There were times Bug would go through nursing strikes, my nipples would get chapped and crack and there were those nights where she cluster fed for hours on end and I thought she'd never stop. Looking back now as I'm preparing to do it all over again with our next little man, I know without a doubt I cannot wait to do it all over again. I got to have moments with my daughter no one else got to have. I got to snuggle with her late at night when the rest of the house was sleeping, of course there were times I hated that part! I still wouldn't have traded any of it for a minute, it was worth all the hard times.

I never thought that I would become a breastfeeding advocate, but here I am. I'm never going to be someone who says "formula is evil" and every one MUST breastfeed, but I want to help those who are looking for more information or have questions. Breastfeeding saved us money, allowed Bug and I an extra special bond, and I could do it virtually anytime and anywhere. I never had to worry about having enough bottles or mixing formula, or forgetting her food because it was always attached to me. The one regret I do have is that I felt I had to "hide" when I fed Bug. There were times I felt I needed to go in the other room at family functions and other events. I always nursed with a blanket or cover, and I never felt the need to let my breasts hang out where anyone would see them, so I don't know why I felt I had to hide away in silence. I just felt like I had to do it in private for others, and I didn't. I'm sure I won't be so nervous about it this time around. Be prepared family, no more hiding away in a bedroom every time baby needs to eat for this girl!

So there you have it, my breastfeeding journey. Maybe it will open up a conversation for someone else, maybe it will inspire someone to breastfeed, or maybe it just gives you a little more insight into who I am. Any way, I'm so happy I wrote it, it brought back lots of memories!


  1. Good for you! Honestly, I decided if a person needs to leave because I'm making them uncomfortable in my home, they are more than welcome to go. It's also gotten to where I feel that if people want to invite us over, they obviously already know I breastfeed, and if they don't force their 4 year-olds to eat in a bedroom away from everyone else, they can't expect Severn to. (Now I just need to hang on to that resolve.) I'm so happy for you, and you've got a supporter here!

  2. I warned the hubs that if he hears you say feeding time to run so he doesn't see cousin boobie... lol. It doesn't bother me.. but I know it would make him uncomfortable... so he can leave the room. :)

  3. haha thanks Jen! I'll obviously still use a cover but dangit I'm not hiding in the bedroom anymore! Babys gotta eat!

  4. Where the heck were you when I was struggling to breastfeed?? No one in my family breastfed their kids so I turned to a lactation consultant for Bella after my failed attempt with Rayne. I also ran to another room to feed the baby even in my own home not so much for them as for myself cuz I didn't want anyone to see my boobs and I wasn't good enough at juggling everything and remaining covered. I literally had to get out of my shirt and bra just to get them out of the way! Always pumped before going anywhere and only being gone short periods of time was a pain. Kudos to you!! Doesn't bother me a bit how, when or where you feed the little guy:)