Breastfeeding: The Struggle and The Joy!

Most mothers I think will agree, if you have chosen to breastfeed your baby, it is both exhausting yet ultimately fulfilling. Nothing feels quite as natural or quite as nurturing. And it is also a different experience for every mother, and different for every baby.

I myself have breastfed or at least attempted to breastfeed all four of my babies. My first caught on to it right away just like nature intended. And at the time I was still working full time so I also had to pump and bottle feed her. Luckily for me, she took onto bottles just as easily as she took the breast.

Then my second child came, he also took to breastfeeding really well. Maybe a little too well. I had to quit working for a while because he refused to take any type of bottle, no matter what it was filled with. And he was that way up until he was three years old, climbing over my very pregnant belly to get to my breasts. Those three years of breastfeeding taught me so much. The best tops to wear, best bras, how to never wear anything really nice, disposable vs reusable nursing pads.

I went through several permanently stained tops, a few infected milk ducts, quite a lot of waking up to realizing baby had been quietly sucking away while the other breast had been quickly dripping away soaking myself, baby, mattress. Figured out to always have a pad over both breast, best to keep a towel under the sheet on your side of the bed and an extra blanket to put under yourself and the baby if a milk accident does happen. Apparently the best way to get rid of milk stains in clothing is to hand wash is and “bleach” the stain out by drying it in the sun…who wants to go through all that? Best to just have designated at home shirts that, lets just face it, will get it milky.

Then came my third and fourth babies. They turned everything I thought I knew on its head. They both ended up having short stays in the NICU and as a result I think it ruined that beautiful mother/baby bonding time. My third child refused to take my breast and the fourth would only take it briefly. He would never suck long enough to get a flow going. He wasn’t patient enough to wait, why would he be when he could just have a bottle with immediate flow?

So through them I learned to always have bottles prepped, keeping them ready in the fridge really cuts down on your bottle making during the day and for those middle of the night feedings. And if you can get your little one accustomed to cold milk, you just got yourself a bonus because you don’t have to spend the extra time warming their bottles up.

Overall, for the best mommying experience, I would have it no other way than breastfeeding. It gives you that perfect amount of mommy-baby connection that you just can’t get with a bottle. But, the world isn’t perfect and sometimes you just won’t produce or your baby wont take your breast, or maybe you just have to work full time. In that case, snuggle, snuggle all the time you can! No matter what, show them love, keep them fed, and you’re a GOOD MOMMY!