Breastfeeding

Venus of Willendorf c. 24,000-22,000 BCE

No one really warns you about the difficulty women face when they are establishing breastfeeding. I had the theory behind breastfeeding but there is a huge difference between knowing it in your head and actually doing it.

I have spent four years and five months of my life breastfeeding and I do feel a sense of accomplishment. It certainly hasn't been an easy road. It has been much harder than I ever could have imagined but I can still say that I am proud that I could breastfeed all four of our children.

In the beginning with Zach was the hardest. He didn't really breastfeed until we got home from the hospital. I was in tears when the doctor came into my hospital room to discharge us and I hadn't had one good feeding. Tears got attention so the lactation consultant gave us a plan. I just needed a plan. I just needed to know that I could feed my baby and that he wouldn't starve.

It wasn't until I got home that I had a chance to talk to two different girlfriend's about their own experiences. I had no idea how difficult it was to establish breastfeeding for them as well. I guess that I only saw them when they seemed like breastfeeding pros.

The chances are slim that you will see a new mom breastfeeding out in public. It's pretty difficult to remain discreet when you are learning to breastfeed. It's much easier to be in the privacy of your own home when you can let everything hang out and not worry about blankets and keeping covered up. I am pretty modest about that stuff. I didn't even think that I had boobs in the first place.

It wasn't until I saw a lactation consultant that I found out that I wasn't producing enough milk. I had to go on a medication to increase my milk supply.

It was a horrendous month with figuring things out, pumping, sterilizing bottles and the sleep deprivation never mind the hormones. But after one month we could get rid of the breast pump. Sigh! What a relief!