What does breastfeeding mean to you?
Everything. Bonding. Snuggles. Love. Life. Food. Quiet. Patience. Joy.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
My son was born with a posterior tongue tie. We did not get it revised until he was 5 weeks old. The worse, most painful 5 weeks of my son. I dreaded every time my new baby boy rooted around and I knew I had to painfully latch him again. We saw four lactation consultants until one amazing lactation consultant discovered his tongue tie. We saw one pediatrician who totally missed it, one who said she didn't believe in tongue ties, and one who couldn't see it before we finally received a referral to an ENT. The ENT said there was a 50% chance revising the tongue tie would help breastfeeding. We figured we didn't have much to lose so we went for it. Unfortunately we didn't have the amazing immediately painless breastfeeding experience I had read about. It took a week for everything to heal and for nursing to stop being painful and start being enjoyable.
What do you love most about breastfeeding?
I love looking at my very chunky baby boy and knowing that I built that. The milk from my body, perfectly made for him, nourished him and made every little roll on his little body. I love knowing that I am doing the very best thing for my child by nourishing him with food that sets him up for a healthy childhood. Most of all I love the quiet moments and the peaceful bonding.
Who (or what) offers you support?
I am so lucky to have had a great support system. It started in prenatal yoga. We all had our babies a month apart and began going to a breastfeeding support group together run by an amazing lactation consultant. Every week we could go to this safe place free of judgement and receive love & support. Knowledge was shared, hug were given, tears were shed, and we were equals. It didn't matter who we were before we were moms, we were all now struggling together on this crazy journey.
I found an online support group full of knowledgeable women who opened my eyes to the world of breastfeeding beyond a year, and tandem nursing. I could go to this group with my late night struggles and receive advice and encouragement at a moments notice. We were all up nursing out babies at 2am anyway :)
Another huge supporter has been my husband. He was the one by my side in those early weeks as I tearfully latched our son, rubbing my back, whispering in my ear that it was going to be ok. He has never ridiculed, shamed, or questioned my desire to nurse our baby. When others have questioned my nursing in public without a cover he has supported me and encouraged me. He is amazing and I don't know if I would still be breastfeeding if not for his love and support.