Name and age of your nursling?
Morgan Lynn Honey, 10 months old
What does breastfeeding mean to you?
Breastfeeding has been the strongest bonding experience I have ever encountered. There is nothing quite like having a tiny little being completely dependent on you for everything they need. I love knowing that I am providing her the best form of nutrition and immunity and well as a strong emotional connection. Breastfeeding has taught me so much and is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I’ve had to learn to trust myself and my body, to have patience, and learn to roll with the punches. It has taught me that I can persevere through the most frustrating obstacles. More than anything, it has taught me to be a mother.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
I really struggled with severe nipple pain, bleeding/cracking and deformity for the first three months. Everyone told me that it would be painful for the first few weeks, but this was unreal. I went to breastfeeding support groups and to my doctor but everyone said my baby’s latch was perfect and there were no issues. I had never felt so frustrated or inept at anything in my life. Finally, we figured out that I had a severe, intraductal yeast infection. After treating myself and baby multiple times, we finally got it under control and I was able to feed my baby without the toe curling pain and bleeding that I had come so accustomed to. Feeling much better, I returned to work only to have my milk supply reduce by half due to pumping. After trying multiple vitamins, Mother’s Milk Tea and other herbal remedies, I finally started prescription metoclopramide. This helped bring my milk back up so that I could continue to leave my daughter breastmilk during my 11 hour shifts. As I sit here, pumping while I write this, (I hate pumping!) I am very thankful that I can do this for my daughter.
What do you love most about breastfeeding?
There is nothing I love more than the quiet time we get together, away from all distractions. I love the snuggling that always comes afterwards . I love the milky, dribbling smiles. Even in the middle of the night, I cannot help but just sit and cuddle, well after she is done eating, as tired as I may be. It’s what I look forward to most, after long days at work. Though it caused more emotional turmoil than I have ever experienced, nothing could have been more worth it.
Who (or what) has offered you support in your journey?
By far my biggest support person was my wonderful husband, Ryan. He was there in the very beginning to give me a third hand when I was too uncoordinated to breastfeed by myself. He was there to listen to me as I cried in frustration in the middle of the night. He researched multiple ways to increase my supply. I never would have made it without him. I was also very lucky to have a lot of support from my mom who, though out of the country, asked me almost on a daily basis how things were going. She nursed me so had been through it all and had lots of helpful suggestions.
Any other advice for moms who want to breastfeed?
Join a support group! In those early days when I was home alone with the baby, I sometimes felt completely isolated. When I finally took the plunge and went to a group, I came home feeling a million times better. Sometimes it just helps to hear that other mom’s are going through the same issues.