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I was more afraid of breastfeeding than any other part of the pregnancy, birth, and motherhood equation. I grew up in a home where breastfeeding was looked upon as something that is forced on mothers barbarically. My mother told me to never let the nurses force me to breastfeed my baby (never once did she say "unless you want to"...apparently that wasn't a possibility).
I waffled back and forth my entire pregnancy about whether I'd try it. My DH and his family are BFing advocates (my MIL was a LLL leader in her day) so I knew I'd come against some opposition if I didn't even try. I finally decided to try, and if it didn't work out (which I fully expected it wouldn't), I'd have no guilt in giving formula. Even at that, I was going to try mostly for the cost savings despite knowing all of the wonderful benefits for baby.
When my son was born, my whole world dramatically changed. I had a c-section, but my hospital was very pro-BFing and made sure he was on my breast as soon as I got to the recovery room. The very second he latched, I knew there was no other way for me.
Of course I was sore, but he latched well and ate well for the first few days. Then, on that third night after he was born, the wheels fell off. He seemed like he was starving. We had a very sweet but very old fashioned nurse who showed us on a graph how he was in danger of reaching that 10% weight loss point within 24 hours and that we would be smart to give formula. So we did give him about 2oz of formula, and I cried the whole time. At his next feeding, I couldn't bring myself to give him the formula. I know there is nothing wrong with FFing, but I just see it as poison now.
My milk came in the next day. I was shocked - the whole hospital seemed hell-bent on telling me that it was going to take about 5 days because I delivered by c-section. But, thinking back on it now, I drank immense amounts of water after birth, nursed DS as much as he wanted, and ate lots of oatmeal every morning for breakfast. I think the water played a very big role in my milk production.
I then dealt with a cracked/bleeding nipple on the day we left the hospital. I tried my best to nurse through it, but the pain was toe-curling. I bought a pump that same day and pumped that breast a few times a day to maintain supply. I was blessed with an over-supply so I did not experience any difficulties.
Overall, we have been fortunate to share a comparatively easy BFing experience. I do know that I would move heaven and earth to make it work for this child and any future children now that I know what an amazing experience this is. For me, the biggest obstacle to overcome was my own negative attitude, and luckily maternal instinct completely wiped out that negativity as soon as DS first latched. We are now 3.5 months into it and continue to work through any minor issues that crop up. I attend a weekly breastfeeding support group in hopes that I can help other new mothers work through any issues.
Proud mama of Avery, born March 19, 2012, 6lbs 5 oz, 19 inches