GIVEAWAY ALERT! Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for the second contest of The Eco-Summer Blog Party!
CONGRATULATIONS SHAYLAN! YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THE MOMMY NECKLACE GIVEAWAY!
Breastfeed: \’breast-fed\ verb, to feed a baby from a mother’s breast.
As a mother one of the first decisions you get to make at the hospital is how you are going to feed your newborn baby. For me, I had heard all the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding and was convinced that I was going to give it a try. I was hoping to make it three months. Instead I made it eleven months, three weeks, and three days (but who’s counting) before I had to ween my son.
Why did I choose to breastfeed? I have asthma (always have) and the main reason I breastfed was because I heard that it reduces your childs chance of having asthma. No one in my family had ever breastfed, none of my friends had breastfed, I knew no one who breastfed! That was six years ago and today I am breastfeeding our second child (going on 6 months).
Disclaimer: Breastfeeding is not always easy! With my first child he wouldn’t latch on at all so we left the hospital with this strange contraption called a pump. As a first time mom this can be very discouraging but I really wanted to make it work. I don’t like to fail. So I kept it up, pumped milk every few hours, bottle fed my baby breastmilk, and kept practicing latching on. On a trip to Target I found the Nipple Shield and thought it was worth a try. Luckily it worked for us. (*Note…Lactation Consultants don’t recommend using shields without supervision and proper guidance.) After a month or so our little boy finally caught on to the latch and the rest is history…kinda! I didn’t have any other major issues until about ten months when I was pumping at work (oh yeah…I was working a full time job and pumping during the days) and the milk looked like creamy tomato soup. Now…like I said…I knew no one who was breastfeeding! Who was I going to ask about this one? After I freaked out for a few hours I called my OBGYN and made an appt to see them. According to the mid-wife that I saw that day I needed to go in for a mammogram and quit nursing! What?!?! I had made it ten months, I wasn’t ready to wean yet! Well, fortunately my stomach told me to keep looking for answers and that lead me to the local La Leche League. I found a phone number for a local consultant and called to get her advice. Thankfully, I did not have to wean. It was a cracked nipple and it would heal in a few days AND I could continue to breastfeed my baby. To my surprise it only took a day or two for things to go back to normal and I didn’t follow through with the mammogram or wean my baby. I did end up weaning him at almost a year when my hubby and I decided to go on a trip alone for our anniversary. It was perfect timing and I never looked back.
Take Two: Fast forward 6 years to January 2009 and I am once again blessed to have another beautiful baby to breastfeed. This time the hospital was much easier and I was better prepared to feed my baby. She latched on much better than her older brother but still didn’t latch properly. I still had to work with her for a few weeks to get her to latch on the right way. I am learning that each child is different. She is much rougher on the boobies and pulls the nipple with her as she turns her head to look at the world! Honestly I feel like Elastigirl from The Incredibles! Yes, it does hurt sometimes and I’ve already experienced my first cracked nipple with her. I think she’s teething so that makes things a little more challenging. Again, it healed in a day and we’re moving on.
Words of Wisdom:
- I have a theory on breastfeeding. 200 years ago what did women feed their babies? In remote Africa what do women feed their babies? Mother’s Milk! There was no formula 200 years ago. God made our bodies so that we could produce milk to feed our babies. It’s 100% natural and costs nothing! It’s not produced in a factory in China or shipped thousands of miles to our local store where it sits for months before we spend precious money to mix it withwater and hope that our babies don’t spit it up withtheir reflux. It’s a wonderful way to bond with your baby. Somedays nothing will soothe her better than cuddling up next to my breast and suckling sweet, warm mothers milk until she falls asleep.
- Trust your instincts! Only you will know what is right for you and your baby. If I wouldn’t have trusted my instincts I would have had a mammogram and weaned my baby before either of us were ready. My son was a little baby and my friends and family always asked me “How do you know he’s getting enough?” I trusted my instincts. As most of us know, babies don’t come with directions. They don’t require 1 oz of milk at 1 month, 2 oz of milk at 2 months, etc. They (like us) eat differently each day. Some days they will eat more, other days they will eat less. You have to have faith in yourself that your baby will know when it’s hungry.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are professional lactation consultants out there who do this everyday. I called the local hospital’s lactation consultant yesterday actually for help with the recent cracked nipple incident. I learned (was reminded actually) that there are support groups for breastfeeding mothers. I’m planning on attending my first meeting next week to get some ideas on how to handle my difficult baby. Look online, there are so many resources available FREE online to help breastfeeding mothers.
This leads me to my next product review and giveaway! I have recently found Mommy Necklaces. The owner created these necklaces out of a necessity of sorts, she too struggled with a baby who was curious about the world around them. Much like my little baby, Raelynn’s baby liked to grab at every necklace she wore. I’m always afraid that my baby will break my favorite necklaces so I tend to go without jewelry. Mommy Necklaces are beautifully created and stylish enough to wear any place. The cording repels water and won’t deteriorate when wet, they are even washable. The beads are non-toxic acrylic (lead and phthalate free) and have been tested to exceed CPSIA regulations. Another unique feature is the break away closure. Your baby can (and will) tug as hard as they want and won’t break your Mommy Necklace. (*Warning: Mommy Necklace beads can still cause a choking hazard if it were to break.) I received my own Mommy Necklace last week and I am already in love with it. It helps to keep my baby focused on the task at hand…breastfeeding! My only problem, I need one for every outfit so it looks like I’m going to need a few more! Shhh…don’t tell the hubby!
Giveaway! Contest period ended.