Using Available Resources for Breastfeeding Success
My name is Sarah, and I live in Utah. My children are Peregrine (10), Trippton (8), Finley (4), and Atticus (15 months). From the time I first saw that "positive" symbol on the pregnancy test, I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby. I learned more about breastfeeding when I attended a WIC breastfeeding class, and was even more excited to have the chance to nurse my baby. Once my first little one arrived, we were eventually able to establish breastfeeding and have it continue until he was one year old. The part that was difficult in initially establishing breastfeeding was that due to a long labor, he ended up with a slight infection that landed him in the NICU shortly after his birth. During his three days in the NICU, he was weak and sleepy, and it was really challenging to want to keep trying to breastfeed under those circumstances. He couldn't or wouldn't latch well, so we had to use little syringes and tubes to try to interest him in nursing. We persisted through the difficulties, and my husband was really supportive, helpful, and encouraging, which was wonderful.
I believe that having a great support team, even if it only consists of one person, is vital to success with breastfeeding.
With my second, third, and fourth children, I was lucky to establish breastfeeding much more quickly and under better circumstances. The thing that I wish I had known each time (because you tend to forget in between kids!) is that it should not hurt. It is totally normal to have some tenderness and soreness for the first few days, but the key to great breastfeeding is getting a good latch. If your baby is latching well, the tenderness goes away quickly. I utilized both the information I had learned in my WIC class on breastfeeding, and my WIC nursing coach each time I had a new baby and began breastfeeding again.
If there is one thing I would have done differently, it would have been to try to extend breastfeeding past 12 months with my first two sons. I nursed my daughter until she was 18 months old, and am still nursing my 15-month-old son, and I love not only the closeness that it provides, but also knowing that he is still getting great benefits from nursing. I have loved breastfeeding my babies for so many reasons. It was comforting to both of us, it gave my babies great nutrition, and created a strong bond between us. It was also really convenient and portable! I love the experiences I have had with breastfeeding.
About the Author...
Sarah Lewis is a stay-at-home-mom who also works from home as an English writing tutor and poetry judge. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children. She enjoys reading, knitting, sewing, biking, and spending time in nature as often as possible.