My hand at breastfeeding.
It is easier than what it looks like. The job is not just as simple as whipping out a breast and letting your child feast. At least, not for a first time mother. Breastfeeding is important for several reasons. When you think about it, that is how a baby is designed to get its nutrients: from it’s mother. If there were no such thing as formula, how would women feed their babies? How did women feed their children in the beginning times before science advanced? My pregnancy has shown me how fascinating and durable the female’s body is.
During my pregnancy, I said that I wanted to breastfeed. After researching how beneficial a mother’s milk is to her young, I knew I just had to do it. However, when my daughter got here, the complete opposite happened. My situation is kind of a sad one but it’s not uncommon. After fighting through my discouragement and talking to other seasoned mothers about it, I feel a whole lot better.
When my daughter was born, she was ready to eat. Within the first 5 minutes of her being here, she was already feeding. In the delivery room, the nurses and the doctor said that I was doing great even though I didn’t know the “right” way to feed her. I just did what felt natural. I watched her feed and made a deeper connection… I’m talking about a connection that is one step deeper than skin to skin contact. I felt proud and excited. Not only did I have a natural birth but I was feeding my daughter with my very own milk.
I didn’t go through the sore aching breast that I heard a lot of mothers talk about. The first night with my daughter went well. I didn’t begin to have trouble until I reached my second night. My daughter was extremely fussy. I didn’t think that it was colic. After all, she literally just got here. I kept trying to feed her. She would eat but I could tell that she wasn’t getting enough. I stayed up with her literally trying to feed her the whole night.
It didn’t matter how sore my breast got from trying, I just wanted her to be satisfied. When I paged the nurse about my concerns. She informed me that my milk still hadn’t completely come in yet. I felt so bad. My plan was to begin feeding from a bottle. I was so determined to feed her my milk. Latching on wasn’t the problem. I fought with my hungry and grumpy newborn until about 8am the next day. I got so discouraged that I ordered her a bottle.
When I saw how quickly she drank the formula, I held her and cried. All I could do was apologize. I felt bad and inadequate as a mother. How could I not feed my own baby? That bothered me for a while. After letting the guilt of trying to nurse a starving baby beat me up, I completely gave up on breastfeeding. I really Wish I could have done it though.
My milk didn’t officially come in until almost a week later. At that point, I didn’t want to even try anymore. The lactate nurse at the hospital said that I was doing so well. As a new mom, I felt like I was doing a terrible job. I put her on the bottle because I simply didn’t want to feel that low again. It still bothers me now whenever I think back upon that night.