Breastfeeding: My Most Challenging AND Rewarding Feat

August is National Breastfeeding Month, the first week of which marking World Breastfeeding Week.  A few years ago, these events would have passed without significance, but after having my son, and experiencing a long and rewarding breastfeeding relationship, I feel compelled to encourage and support other breastfeeding mothers, and breastfeeding mothers-to-be.

Breastfeeding

I knew that I wanted to breastfeed before my son arrived, but had so many doubts about myself and my body; these doubts intensified once my midwife told me that my son was breech and I would need to have a caesarean section performed at a hospital.  If you’ve found out that you have a [stubbornly] breech baby, and a c-section is looming over you, do not despair (and try NOT to read all of the negative articles on the internet), you can have a long and successful breastfeeding relationship after caesarean section.

The beginning of my son and my breastfeeding journey was rocky, and I came very close to giving up that first week.  If it wasn’t for my incredibly supportive husband and an amazing lactation consultant at our pediatrician’s office, I surely would have given up.  In my frazzled new mom state, I would not have called upon the help of a lactation consultant to help us, but having one on staff made it incredibly easy for me to get the help I needed (HUGE kudos and many thanks go out to Ambler Pediatrics, and more specifically, Jo Ann Serota).  In fact, Declan’s regular checkups are with our nurse practitioner (my LC wonder-woman); Declan loves Jo Ann SO much that he gave her a hug and a huge kiss at his two year well visit!

If you’re having a tough time with breastfeeding, I want to tell you not to give up.  Even after the initial stumbling blocks, I continued to suffer from milk blebs and clogged ducts (D had a bad latch on my right side), and continued to nurse through the knife-like pain, knowing that I had to have him “nurse-out” those clogs.  I nursed through two short-lived pregnancies, the pain bringing me to tears.  We even sailed through sleep training, without interfering with breastfeeding (your baby can sleep through the night and still breastfeed exclusively [and successfully]).

I worked with short term goals: three months, then six, and then a year; we blew past each milestone and I celebrated each achievement, remembering how hard-won each goal was.  Once past the year marker, I decided to let Declan lead the way and call all of the shots.  When he reached 18 months, I began to develop a wry sense of humor about our breastfeeding relationship, wondering if there ever was to be an end in sight.  At 21 months, to the day, Declan decided that he was done; no ceremony, no weaning, no crying.  I didn’t offer my breast, and Declan never asked [again].  I had read many woeful stories about the weaning process and the end of breastfeeding, but Declan and myself were both ready to exercise our newfound independence.

Breastfeeding, for my son and myself, had a rocky beginning, definite hurdles throughout, but created an unbelievable bond between us in that first year (I’d like to think it’s an everlasting one, but time will be the judge).  While likely the hardest challenge I’ve ever encountered, breastfeeding my son is one of my greatest accomplishments.

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.  Theodore Roosevelt

 

World Breastfeeding Week Giveaway

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week,  Nesting Days Newborn carriers are hosting an incredible giveaway with top brands and bloggers. One lucky winner will take it all! The prize is valued at over $300! Enter for yourself or for a friend and share the giveaway with all of the amazing mamas in your life!

Giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on August 10th at 12am.

 

One winner will receive :

(1) Nesting Days carrier in her choice of size and color

(1) Undercover Mama shirt in her choice of color

(1) Multi pack of Bamboobies nursing pads

(1) Teething Necklace from GumiGem

(1) Infinity Nursing Scarf from Abbie Grace Designs

(1) Bottle of Nipple Cream from MotherLove

(1) Hands Free Pumping/Nursing Bra from The Dairy Fairy(1) Sleep Nursing Bra from The Dairy Fairy

Estimated retail value : $330

Enter the giveaway below and then click through to read stories, see photos, and enjoy other fun goodies from all of our partnering bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Comments

  1. says

    Breastfeeding is definitely challenging. I’ve breastfed two kids and both times I had different obstacles to overcome. Overall, I’m thankful for a supportive husband as well and for being able to connect with other moms through my blog and online communities for advice and just to rant sometimes.
    K. Elizabeth @YUMMommy recently posted…Hello August!My Profile

    • says

      Way to go, mama! I think looking at the larger picture helps in overcoming breastfeeding hurdles, but I say this as someone who’s never had mastitis. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. says

    Thank you for sharing your story. I had to have a c-section with my third baby and had two vaginal births with my older two kids. My youngest didn’t have any issues with latching or breastfeeding, despite being born via c-section. We nursed for 18 months when I finally decided to give it up due to my own deteriorating health conditions.

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