Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Breastfeeding Guest Blogger - Sarah M.

Our next Guest Blogger for this week's Breastfeeding event is Sarah M.  If you have any questions or comments for Sarah, please leave them below!  And please, enjoy her breastfeeding journey!  ~Laura

When I was pregnant with my daughter, Charis, there was no question in my mind how I would feed her.  My husband and I both wanted me to breastfeed her.  Thankfully, our family was very supportive.  Breastfeeding seemed like the only option to me, and I have my mom to thank for that.  She breastfed my brother, sister, and I.  I remember watching The Bill Cosby Show when I was four years old, with my mom in the same room nursing my sister.

I am also very thankful for my midwife, Sheila.  Before Charis was born, Sheila asked, "How are you going to feed your baby?"  I answered, "I plan on breastfeeding her."   Sheila was THRILLED, but also told me what to expect.  She said that breastfeeding will be painful in the beginning for the first few weeks.  She explained that after my daughter was born, I would have this human who wants to be at my breast ALL THE TIME and that my breasts and nipples would not be used to it, so it would be painful until they "toughened up."  I was thankful that Sheila gave me a realistic picture what it would be like the first few weeks.  Had I not been told this, I would have thought I am a failure, because many books say that breastfeeding is painless.

Do not be afraid to seek out help. I had a cracked nipple and mastitis a week after Charis was born.  When my daughter's pediatrician found out I had mastitis, he wanted me to go see a Lactation Consultant.  Looking back, I am glad he recommended that.  The Lactation Consultant helped me see that Charis was not latching on correctly on my left side, where the cracked nipple was.  They also pointed me to a product that would help my breasts feel better, Lasinoh's Soothies Gel Pads.  http://www.lansinoh.com/products/soothies-by-lansinoh-gel-pads

About seven weeks after my daughter was born, I went back to working PRN at a local hospital in CCU.  Going back to work was hard.  I had bought a manual pump since I only worked 2 days/month.  If I have to work next time, I plan on buying an electric pump.  The biggest drawback for a manual pump was that I could only pump one breast at a time, so I was off the floor longer than I would have liked, but since I worked as a nurse infrequently it was fine for those needs. I have a two pumping recommendations: 
1. Pump in the morning when your milk supply is higher, during late afternoon/early evening the milk supply is lower.
2. When you are at work, try to pump the same amount of times your baby will be taking a bottle or nursing.  That way the demand is still there even when your child is at home.

I'm still nursing my daughter.  It's been over 13 months.  My goal was to breastfeed her for at least a year, and she's not showing any signs of wanting to stop.  One of the fears I had was, "What will I do when my daughter's teeth come?"  So far that fear has been completely unfounded.  The few times my daughter has bit me, I put my finger to break the latch and told her, "No.  Do not bite mommy."  I have also found with my daughter that when she bites, it usually means she is almost finished.  

About 20 months ago, I made the decision to breastfeed my child, and I am thrilled with that decision.  I hope you are too.


You can catch Sarah on her blog Musings of a SAHM.

Thank you Sarah for sharing your experience and your words of wisdom on the art of Breastfeeding!  ~Laura

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