Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Adventures in Breastfeeding

To be honest I never thought breastfeeding would be this challenging. I thought sore nipples would be my only problem. No one warns you just how tired you will feel feeding ever second of everyday. Or the fact your ravenous infant will not want a pacifier so you can go pee. And with feedings so frequent there is no feeding a baby before you leave and waiting until you get back to feed again. That is why I have come to understand how the fight for acceptance for breast feeding in public is so important. I was never one who felt uncomfortable about those who breastfed in public but I did assume there was an option.
My Freya can take up to an hour or more if she falls asleep misreading to nurse herself full. Then it's only an hour before she is starving again. That doesn't give you much time to do anything and with older children, how are you suppose to let those kids do anything if you have to sit in a bathroom stall in the mall to feed for an hour. Imagine a toddler having to sit in a bathroom stall waiting for mommy to finish nursing the baby without touching anything. Yeah, couldn't ask that of my eight year old let alone a three year old.
Also no one tells you about how more often a breastfed baby goes then a formula fed baby does. Although I had decided to eventually do cloth diapers long before I knew how many diapers a breastfed baby would go through, I now see why so many breastfeeding mommies use cloth. It gets expensive!
The burping is our biggest issue. Freya is not a good burper. Morrigan I could just sit up and she would burp. Freya is a struggle and if she doesn't burp she won't latch. No latch mean screaming baby that won't keep her hand out if the way so I can try to feed her.
Freya nurses the way Freya wants to be nursed. If at that moment she wants the left one she won't take the right one. Or she might not want to be held while nursing so she fussed until I find the position she wants.
Breastfeeding is especially hard for paranoid people like me. Always having to worry about milk supply. Is she getting enough? is she full? It makes me feel worried constantly.
Cracked nipples must be nursed through. Engorgment must be nursed through. Clogged milk ducts must be nursed through. Infections must be nursed through. Sickness must be nursed through. There is no, not today, no not this breast, no taking cold medicine to get through it. No chugging caffeine to stay awake. Your nutritional needs can't be ignored as just like in pregnancy, you are responsible for the nutrition of your child.
Those are the sacrifices of a mom who breastfed. Wish all those that think breastfed moms are asking too much to feed in public could spend just 24 hours breastfeeding a hungry infant.  I know they would feel differently by the end of the day. I certainly did, I formula fed Morrigan and there is a huge difference in how the adjustment was getting back to life after the hospital. Its so much harder breastfeeding and doing anything else. I don't sleep, there is no time between feedings. There is not a time I don't have a child stuck to my boobs! If there is a moment it's spent changing one of the 14 diapers we go through in a day. I'm lucky if I can use the bathroom or eat something myself. Breastfeeding an infant is never ending and it all rests on my shoulders. Chris certainly can't help. This is a mommy only job luckily... I've got this!

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