So today I felt like posting about something that I don’t normally post about… BREASTFEEDING. Breastfeeding is one of the most unselfish and self sacrificing things that I have ever done…it’s been hard as hell, but I am so grateful that I’ve done it.
As many of you know, I have 5 children. With my first 4 children, I stopped breastfeeding at 5 months old! I wanted to do it longer, but my babies weren’t gaining enough weight. No matter what I did, they were underweight. And I had plenty of milk. Come to find out that they have forward placement tongues. Which not only gave them speech impediments, but also made it very hard for them to nurse. So they weren’t getting enough milk out even though there was plenty there.
Anyways – my number 5 baby does not have a forward placement tongue! She was born to nurse. Literally knew what she was doing from the moment her head popped into view. She is now 20 months old and is still breastfeeding. She has NEVER had formula!! Not to say that formula is a bad thing. I did use it for my first four children. I am just so excited that I finally was able to not use it with her. I even went back to work when she was a week old and created a pumping schedule.
Breastfeeding a newborn is so fulfilling, but also extremely and incredibly painful. Your nipples are getting used to nursing. They become chapped and sore and bleeding. There are creams to make it not as horrible, but it’s still pretty horrible. You also get after contractions a lot worse if you breastfeed. Some of the after contractions are even worse than the labor. And the more babies you have, the more horrifying it is. Although – the more contractions you have, the quicker your tummy goes back to normal. Soo that is definitely a benefit. Your boobs also get engorged with milk. They get hard and feel like they’re going to explode and they leak like crazy. Plus every time your baby cries, or someone else’s baby cries, your milk drops in and you get contractions and your boobs leak. Also if you’re like me, it feels isolating. Because I am not someone who feels comfortable with nursing in front of people.
I have heard so many moms say that they couldn’t breastfeed because it hurt too bad. But I PROMISE that I have been through all of the same things. I have had cracked and bleeding nipples, mastitis, and everything else. It DOES get better. Your nipples get used to it. The contractions stop. The mastitis goes away and usually doesn’t come back after 6 months of breastfeeding. It gets better…..at least til your little shark gets teeth.
Breastfeeding a teething infant is like breastfeeding a SHARK. They can’t bite you while they’re sucking, but they usually do bite you when they’re not sucking. When they fall asleep, they usually bite you. If they get angry, they bite you. And the blood will pour. Because you can’t reason with a shark.
Once they get into the toddler stage, things get better again. They stop biting… mostly. The biggest problem with breastfeeding a toddler is that they rip it out whenever they want it and they throw huge fits if they can’t have it.
The point is that even with all of the hard times that breastfeeding brings, it is totally worth it. For one thing; ITS FREE!! Another thing; it’s the healthiest food for baby. It bonds mom and baby in such an amazing way. It helps mama lose weight. It greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer! It’s convenient. I don’t have to sterilize bottles or make formula. I have milk on tap. It’s awesomeeee. So if you’re wondering whether you should breastfeed or not, I definitely recommend it!!