I can recall the whole hospital experience with Holden, my first, as if it were yesterday. I was exhausted as the nurse tried to get Holden to latch just after birth. All I could think about was a shower and food. I hadn't ate in over 18 hours and if you know me even a little, you know I will do anything for food and I get HANGRY easily. I value showers and after my mom proclaiming, "your pooping so much" while giving birth along with the blood, sweat and tears that went into this birth I needed a shower. After I ate and showered we tried again.
My mind was so much clearer, but still I had visions in my mind about what I had thought about breasts prior to giving birth. There was a ton of pressure from the nurse forcefully encouraging my son to take my breast and my parents watching. I started to cry. Here's my turning point. I look to my dad tears in my eyes, thinking I cannot do this. And my dad looks at me and says, "Just Do It." Holden and I made it 9 months, no formula and I was working from 6 weeks on.
My decision to stop nursing Holden came one day when his feet were on my stomach, booty in the air and his mouth was on my breast shaking it the way a dog shakes a stuffed toy. Eric had been in the picture since Holden was 6 months old, but I remember him looking at me that day and I know we were thinking the same. He's walking (yes, I know 9 months and walking), he was talking and eating table food. It was time.
When Gretta, my second, came along the initial hospital connection was easier. When we got home Gretta had colic even today I recognize I did not make the connection with her as a baby that I did with Holden and Myla. Gretta was always eating, who am I kidding she is still always eating! Along with this I faced some uncomfortable situations with family not being too accepting of my nursing in public even though I was being discrete. I only made it 5 months with Gretta. I could not produce what she needed I strongly believe this was due to lack of connection with the screaming colic and the pressure of feeling uncomfortable about my breastfeeding with Gretta. I still revisit regrets about not getting further with her.
Myla, my third, has been the easiest. In the hospital I was confident in what I was doing. I believe the nurses even thought so because they left me alone. When we got home we had an immediate connection. I do not feel uncomfortable in front of those that made me feel uncomfortable in the past. Myla had struggled a bit with being covered while nursing. I made decisions to be open about my nursing with Myla and we are comfortable doing feedings pretty much anywhere. My goal is to make it 7 months with Myla, currently we are on our third month.
Above you will see pictures of me nursing in fitting rooms. This was my number one go to place when nursing prior to just being open about things. I do still use the fitting rooms now because it is easier to keep my other two small children contained while I nurse Myla when we are out.
I have always pumped in a bathroom at work which has honestly been fine with me. I do tend to feel guilty about taking so much time for pumping while at work so I always try to be productive if I can. I also find if I am taking my mind off pumping I can pump more. Below you will find some of my favorite nursing mom on the go products.
DEALING WITH A DECREASE IN MILK FLOW:
If you have made the choice to breastfeed, CONGRATULATIONS! This is not an easy journey. Find a support network to offer solutions when things get difficult. Don't give up if breastfeeding is something you want for your children.