Thursday, July 7, 2011

My thoughts on breast feeding...

I swear I'm trying to get better about blogging--but the days go so fast!

I have had a blog post in my mind for a while now about my thoughts on breastfeeding.

My breastfeeding journey with Emma was very short lived--like just a few weeks. I went in to it assuming I was going to breastfeed her. I had seen my sister successfully breastfeed two babies--why would it be different for me? Emma was never exclusively breastfed. She had her first bottle of formula before even leaving the hospital. She was born 5 weeks early and tiny. The nurses and docs were concerned about her weight. She was a sleepy nurser. I would practically have to undress her every feeding just to keep her awake. Every attempt at nursing was a struggle from the beginning. Her pediatrician had me keep a chart of when she ate, how long, how many ounces. It was overwhelming. Why was breastfeeding not working for me? What was I doing wrong. By the time I went back to work (12 weeks), Emma was exclusively on formula. It took me a while to come to terms with that fact...and several tearful nights later...I was okay with it.

Jump ahead 3 years and I get pregnant with Molly. I was determined to make this go round work. I surrounded myself with friends who support breastfeeding. Who get it and could answer my questions--y'all know who you are and I LOVE you! I bought this bible--I mean book and connected myself on this web site. I did this all before little Molly was even born. I wrote a birth "plan" that included me having skin to skin contact with Molly immediately after birth along with nursing soon after that--for an hour or more (which did happen). Once Molly was here, I nursed her on demand. I have never looked at a clock when it comes to her eating. I follow her lead. When she shows any signs of being hungry, she gets fed. She also sleeps within arms reach of me--and nurses as much as she wants at night time.

Here we are 11 weeks later and going strong! Molly has never had a drop of formula and is in the 90th percentile for weight. She is putting herself on a nice little schedule and waking up 1, maybe 2 times at night to eat. I am working part time where I pump when I'm not with Molly. She gets about 3 bottles of pumped milk when I am at work. Pumping is great too--once you get the hang of it.

I attribute ALL my breastfeeding success to Molly, my dear friends and their support, the skin to skin contact and nursing right after delivery and that book listed above. Really--if you listen to your baby, (s)he will let you know what (s)he needs. (S)he knows when (s)he is hungry, how long (s)he wants to eat, how much (s)he wants to eat...God made this baby to know these things and designed mamas to fulfill all these needs! If you follow your babies lead, you will have an amazing breastfeeding relationship. I have no doubt.

I'm not sure how long I will breastfeed Molly--this is something else I will follow her lead on. Now, I don't plan on nursing her when she is walking in the door to kindergarten--but a year or so will do.

I love being a breastfeeding mom--the moments when Molly looks up at me and coos or smiles while nursing, when she sleepily pulls away with milk-drool coming out of her mouth, after a day at work when I get home and nurse her for the first time and she hugs my body with her whole body while nursing, when her sweet little hand rests so peacefully on my chest, when she looks at me in the eyes so adoringly when she sees me...I love it all :)


Lisa said...

Congratulations on your amazingly successful nursing relationship with Molly! I'm so glad it has worked out so wonderfully for you this time. The relationship between a nursing mom and her nursling is an amazing thing.

Bryna Rodenhizer said...

Now I can't wait EVEN MORE to get started when Amelia comes!

studio 310 said...

that's so awesome!! thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

are you familiar with baby led weaning (no purees). i'm pretty intrigued by the concept. i think you'll probably find it interesting. as always, you'll have to check out a variety of sources of info and figure out what works best for your family. :)

Jen Fluharty said...

Emily - It warms my heart knowing how breastfeeding has worked so much better for you this time around! I get tears every time I hear how you and molly are doing! Remember to reach out if and when you need help! that is what we are here for!

Also, @studio 310, We do modified BLW. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me: jen (dot) fluharty (at) gmail (dot) com

GinH said...

love this!!! when oliver was around 11/12w he started 'mmmmmmm' when he nursed. now he only does it when he's tired or really hungry. it is SO cute! it tickled at first b/c it was vibrating me, lol! i hope molly will do that b/c now it's really sweet!