I want to thank Julie for having these guests posts on her blog and for allowing me to be a part of this amazing series! I’ve enjoyed reading every single one of your stories!
I knew I wanted to breastfeed before I was pregnant. It’s just something that I have ALWAYS wanted to do and be able to provide for my child. Thankfully I’ve had very supportive family and friends to encourage me throughout this journey. I had heard how difficult breastfeeding can be and I wanted to make sure that I was fully prepared to tackle this thing head on. I read just about a bajillion books and went to a breastfeeding class. Both of which were EXTREMELY helpful! I fully encourage every new mom or soon-to-be mom to educate yourself and learn as much as you can because it really does help out (Especially if you do have problems)!
Thankfully breastfeeding has not been a huge challenge for me. We’ve definitely had to overcome some hurdles and go through some rough spots, but all in all, I count myself as one of the lucky ones. I remember the very first time nursing my son in the L&D room about 20 minutes after he was born. It was incredible. Hunter latched on like a pro and started nursing like a champ! I was so proud and happy that I was able to provide this for my child!
Everything seemed to be going great up until Hunter was about a month old. I was sitting on the couch nursing him and out of nowhere, he unlatched and started screaming, and would not latch back on! No matter what I did or how much I tried to calm him down, nothing seemed to work. Everyone tells you not to stress out when you’re breastfeeding, which is true, but almost impossible not to do! He did the exact same thing the next time I tried to nurse him. I remember wanting to give up right then and there! I was so incredibly stressed out and didn’t know what to do or how to fix it. I started dreading the next time I would have to nurse him, because I knew the same thing was going to happen again. I felt so defeated. So, I started researching and trying to figure out what was wrong and why my baby wasn’t nursing anymore. Thankfully my sister-in-law had given me a book about breastfeeding called “The Nursing Mother’s Companion” (I like to call it the Breastfeeding Bible!). After a ton of reading, I was able to figure out that I had a very fast let down and that it was making it hard for my baby to nurse. The book gave me helpful tips about various positions I could hold my baby in to make it easier on him and also that he would adjust and that it was something he would eventually get used to. Insert sigh of relief! After that little hiccup, nursing was fairly easy and we didn’t really have any problems.
When Hunter was 3 months old I started pumping once a day. I had pumped before that here and there, but nothing consistent. I started noticing that my supply was slowly decreasing when Hunter was almost 5 months old. Normally I would be able to pump about 8 oz with no problem, but now I was pumping barely 5 oz …and I started freaking out. I had heard that fenugreek worked wonders when needing to increase your supply. So I went to my local health food store and picked up a bottle of fenugreek supplements and they started working instantly!! It was like a miracle! I was back to pumping 8 oz and couldn’t be happier! After about a week of taking the supplements my son became incredibly sick. He had a fever (his first fever EVER) and diarrhea. My husband (being the amazing man he is) started researching like a crazy person. We found out that Hunter is one of the rare cases where his stomach can’t tolerate my milk with the fenugreek supplements. While I was taking the fenugreek I started producing a ton of the front milk (the sugary stuff) and almost no hind milk (the good fatty stuff). That’s why he got so sick …I made my baby sick! I felt horrible! A decision I made had hurt my son! I beat myself up about it for the longest time. Thankfully he was only sick for a few days, but it was truly the worst thing I’ve ever been through.
I immediately stopped taking the fenugreek and was back down to pumping only barely 5 oz. Back to the research board I went …and I’m so glad I did! I found out about a wonderful little trick called Power Pumping! You pump in 10 minute intervals for an hour (10 minutes on/10 minutes off). Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand, so therefore, the more you demand the more your body will supply! After power pumping for a few days I was able to increase my supply up to 7 oz!
Since then, its been smooth sailing for us! My goal is to be able to breastfeed Hunter for at least a year. It’s definitely been a roller coaster and there have been times where I just wanted to give up, but I’m so thankful that I’ve stuck with it! It is truly one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done!
Thank you all so much for reading! I hope this post has been helpful. Remember, us momma bears are in this together!
If you would like to share your breastfeeding story please email me at thegirlintheredshoes @ gmail. Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar.