Breastfeeding, oh breastfeeding.
I have said a couple of times that I would do a post about breastfeeding. But each time I thought about writing an actual post on the topic I would back out.
I'm not really sure what to say on the whole subject, and I don't want to come across like I think I'm a know it all or anything like that because believe me that is not the case. And I also think sometimes, when a person talks about how she breastfeeds others assume that they she is a PRO-BREASTFEEDING-ALL-THE-WAY-JUST-SAY-NO-TO-FORMULA kind of person. And that is not the case either.
This is just my story about my knowledge of breastfeeding (which isn't a lot) and my two cents:
I went into pregnancy not really knowing much about breastfeeding. To me it was something you did after your baby was here. Yes I thought it was that simple. I never really entertained the whole Formula vs. Breast milk debate, as I had no reason to. What college girl, or newly married young adult actively pursues information about formula vs breastfeeding when she is not even thinking of having a baby at that point? Not this girl.
It was during my pregnancy that people started asking if I was planning on breastfeeding. I didn't know much about breastfeeding, but to me it only made sense that yes I would be breastfeeding. Why wouldn't I? If I had working milk, and Eli drank the working milk, why wouldn't I breastfeed??
After Eli arrived he latched on just fine and didn't really have trouble nursing. Which means one thing. I was in a lot of pain. Now, you will have people tell you that it is not supposed to hurt, however I beg to differ. Something is latched on to your body sucking away to their hearts content at one spot on your body causing the skin to become raw and very tender. AND THIS IS HAPPENING EVERY THREE HOURS. It's gonna hurt. Sometimes (a lot of times) the pain felt way worse than any contraction I ever had. And those hurt. A lot.
I have since realized that the pain should go away. If you are still in pain after a couple of weeks then you have a problem. But at first, the pain is there and it is real.
Also, prior to getting pregnant I did not realize that babies ate every 3 hours. I'm not sure why I didn't know this, as I've been around babies my entire life. Perhaps it's because I wasn't the one that was strapped down to a chair feeding them, but it's true, a baby eats every 3 hours. And if you are breastfeeding, it takes up to about 2 hours of that 3 hours (at first).
So, make the most of that last hour!!!!!
Now, this is the point in the post where it takes a spin.
Somewhere between 2 and 3 months of nursing my feelings changed. It had quit hurting and I had developed a routine. Instead of it being an inconvenience it just became a natural part of my life.
I learned to plan ahead. If I am going to lunch with friends, or I know I will be in the car a long time I have learned to schedule his feedings around what I will be doing.
I have also learned to go with the flow. I have fed Eli in the backseat of my car in a random parking lot MANY times, and I've also been known to sneak in a dressing room or two when I'm shopping and Eli needs to eat.
I've also become the girl who whips out her Hoter Hider and begins feeding her baby, wherever she is or whoever she is around (except I don't do it at restaurants) This took LOTS of practice at home before I would do it in public. I'm ok with being the girl who nurses behind the Hoter Hider, I am NOT ok with being the girl who flashes her goods to the whole world. No thank you.
And there are still days where I do get a little frustrated. Pumping at work is no fun and is annoying, and trying to find something to wear that not only fits my new curvy body, but also has easy access to my tools has proved to be difficult, but for now I will keep trucking along. In the words of a good friend, I can fight a bear for a little while. This is just a season of my life, and I want to enjoy every moment of it and not just wish it away.
ALSO, I am by no means opposed to formula. I was a formula fed baby and I'm a perfectly healthy, well-functioning, human being. With the exception of a couple of lung collapses and a mind that worries non stop and a case of hypochondria that might force any mother to breastfeed if that is the end result of formula. I kid. I kid.
And Eli isn't an exclusively breastfeed baby. Right now he takes formula about 10% of the time and breastmilk about 90% of the other time. This works for us and it works for him.
So that is my two cents on breastfeeding. It caught me off guard, I had moments where I wanted to give up, but I don't like to give up on anything just because it is uncomfortable for me or inconvenient. Yes it hurt, and yes it took awhile to get used to, but I couldn't imagine not doing it because of ME.
And looking back that time that seemed so exhausting with the constant feedings and ME being the only one that could feed him, seems like it passed so quickly. I feel like I did a lot of unnecessary whining. I'm glad I didn't give up. There were certainly days where I thought I couldn't do it anymore. When the next baby comes, I will know that the hard period is so short and I can get through it.
In everything in the baby world my advice is always do what works best for you and your baby. I'm not sure how long I will breastfeed but right now it works for us, and I would be sad to quit doing it. So we will keep moving forward!
P.S. Nursing doesn't make your weight come off. Whoever told you that is lying to you. If somebody's weight fell off and they think it's because of nursing they are wrong. I think they are a person who would have lost the weight easily anyways and they think it's because of nursing. But that's just my opinion. I'm not bitter.