It’s International Breastfeeding Week this week. Seems like a good time to blog about breastfeeding. In fact, there’s a whole “Blog About Breastfeeding” event at Mothering.com.
I went in to breastfeeding knowing that it is a very natural process. Babies are born with a sucking reflex. The hormone changes after birth make a woman lactate. But I also knew that a sucking reflex does not equal a good latch, and hormone changes do not equal a good supply.
Breastfeeding may be natural, but it is by no means automatic.
And that was certainly true for us. It took us a month before we really got the hang of it. Which was very frustrating since after health benefits for her (like increased IQ and health) and myself from it, my main reason for breastfeeding was the convenience of having the food always ready and available without any mixing of formulas or washing of bottles or going to the store and spending money. And breastfeeding was anything but convenient to start.
The first month was supplemental nursing systems, pumps & bottles, engorgement, lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, infant reflux, and a LOT of support and encouragement from Brett. Without his support we wouldn’t have made it through that first month.
We’re still working through some bumps on the road. We aren’t over the reflux yet. And some times in the middle of the night I’m too drowsy to get a good latch the whole time and pay for it later. But it’s starting to become as convenient as feeding a baby every 1 to 4 hours can be.
Now if she’d just pick a schedule and stick with it I’d probably squirt her in the face a little less.