Good afternoon all…I have a few minutes before I have to go to my “lactation room” and pump milk…so I thought I’d get in a quick post.
No one warned me how much of a commitment it is to exclusively breastfeed a child. Especially if you work. Thank God NYS has really great breastfeeding laws and that my employer is very understanding. If I weren’t able to disappear 3 times a day for 15-20 minutes at a time to pump, I’d be filling my kid with dreaded formula. I mean… the name..yuck…formula? Sound like something that was created in Frankenstein’s lab. Oh wait….it probably was….but I digress..I must say that formula is great when you can’t breastfeed. That’s what it’s for. But if you can breastfeed, please forgo the formula for at least 3 months. It really is the best for baby and YOU (but more on this later).
I made a decision that I was going to breastfeed my child because it was best for her, and honestly, I thought it would very “easy” and second nature. News flash…it’s not. No one tells you that your nipples might very well feel like they are falling off. Hell…they might even look like it. I remember when I first got home from the hospital, I couldn’t even put a shirt on because my nipples were TORE UP! They were scabbed, cut, sore. I swore up and down my nipples were about to fall off. I didn’t have a pump (silly me) and I had to send my good friend Beth out to Babies R’ Us to buy me one since I couldn’t leave my home. I pumped and pumped but got extremely frustrated when only 1 or 2 ounces came out…from both boobs! I had a breakdown in my cousin’s car because I was so engorged and coming down with mastitis and I thought I was going to have to stop breastfeeding. I was THISCLOSE to giving up when I went to a lactation consultant in Riverdale and she helped me tremendously. We messed around until we found a position that works (side lying) and little by little, I started getting it. I increased my pumping schedule and supplemented with formula until my milk supply came in. All in all, it took about 4 weeks to get in the swing of breastfeeding.
I still can’t believe how difficult it can be, and you know that saying “You can’t cry over spilled milk”? OH YES YOU CAN! Wait until you dump a bottle full of liquid gold (aka breast milk) all over the table or floor. But in retrospect, all of these challenges were necessary in securing my commitment to EBF (exclusive breast feeding). I overcame the obstacles and did it…I EBF’ed for 6 months (As the WHO recommends) and I’m still going strong! I make the trek to the 8th floor every day, multiple times without fail because I refuse to throw away all the progress I’ve made. My daughter is in the 95th percentile of height and weight. She’s very advanced for her age, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she started walking by 9-10 months. She’s a happy baby. She has teeth. (That’s another post LOL…nursing a biting baby…OUCH). She’s thriving because she is breast fed.
You know who else is thriving because of breast feeding? ME!!!!! Aside from the personal satisfaction of being able to provide the best nourishment for my daughter, I AM LOSING WEIGHT FAST YA’LL! I lost all my baby weight and then some. I am still losing and I am EATING…oh boy do I EAT!!! That’s such a nice added perk to breast feeding…you are a calorie burning machine. Once I start working out, I think I might actually look better POST BABY than PRE BABY!
And get this…I have so much milk stored, that I can donate my frozen stash to a milk bank and be able to make a difference in a newborn’s life! That’s such an awesome feeling!
Alright all…I’m off to pump…like the happy little cow I am…