The deeply personal act of feeding our babies takes on many shapes and forms. The Honest Co. is encouraging moms to open up a dialogue about this subject and share our experiences. Our babies are unique, and so is our day to day life as a mom. This in turn raises unique challenges and advantages for feeding our babies.
I’ve had the joy, and privilege, of breastfeeding three boys. All three have had different experiences. I have nursed, pumped, and relied on forumla and donor breastmilk as situations required.
My oldest son was nearly exclusively breastfed for 14 months. He had formula a handful of times if I needed to be away from him, as I couldn’t get any success with a pump. Our feeding journey was pleasantly boring. I was a low-income single mom, living with family, and breastfeeding helped me financially.
When my second child was born ten years later, he nursed like a champ from day one. But then I got sick. He received donor milk and formula for about 4 weeks, at six months of age, because I was hospitalized for Crohn’s Disease. The medication I was on made it impossible to nurse. Pumping was easier the second time, and so I pumped and dumped during my entire hospital stay to maintain my supply. We were able to get back to nursing after I was healthy again, and he self weaned at 14 months.
I faced some challenges with number three that gave our nursing life a rocky start. A few weeks in, I was desperate for help…
I am currently nursing my 7.5 month old and it has been quite a journey, for sure. Even though I have done this twice before, I have faced some challenges with number three that gave our nursing life a rocky start. A few days in, I was desperate for help and contacted a friend of my mom who is a health nurse and lactation consultant.
My son had a very shallow latch and was causing my nipples intense pain and bleeding. When he spit up blood, my blood, I panicked and called for help. Our friend was able to help adjust his latch and help us reposition our holds into more optimal angles. I’m honestly not quite sure how she did it, but within one nursing session he was latching beautifully.
I still rely on formula and pumped milk on occassion. Usually when I need to take certain medication, or for the ever elusive date-night. But as a stay-at-home mom, I’m blessed with the ability to nurse full time.
Encouragment and Support are so Important
I’m forever grateful for the support I have had during my years of feeding babies. My family and husband have lovingly encouraged my breastfeesing efforts. Formula was there whenever I needed it, thanks to the progress of science, and my dear mom-friend was kind enough to pump extra milk of her own for us too.
I know that whatever lies ahead for me and my babies, they will always be as well fed as they are loved.