Saturday, January 15, 2011

So you think you can breastfeed

Listen up. I am PRO breastfeeding. I think it's the most wonderful gift you can give to your brand new baby. But it is NOT easy. Don't be like me. Learn from me. I was completely arrogant. I figured, hey, it's natural, why would I need help? People tried to warn me. I ignored them. Then came the big day. Nineteen hours of labor, two of those pushing, and this tiny little creature is thrown into my arms. And they're like, okay, feed him. Um, WHAT?! Help me help me help me! So, exhausted, I attempted to feed this tiny creature. And I failed. He didn't want to latch properly and the lactation consultants at the hospital were useless. In the two days we were there, we saw three different LCs and they all told me something different. By the time I left the hospital, they had me supplementing him with a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) and formula. And because I hadn't done enough homework, I didn't know any better.

So, if you're committed to breastfeeding, listen to people who have done it before. They can offer advice. Find a La Leche League in your area and go to their meetings. And if you can, find a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) and meet up with them. This was where we ended up on our first day home from the hospital and it helped a lot.

So, don't be like me. Don't sit there saying, it's supposed to come naturally, I can do this by myself. Lots of things that are "natural" require help. Like walking, or I dunno, giving birth, for God's sake. You better believe I was in the hospital getting all the help I needed for that. And what's more "natural" than giving birth, right? Ha!

Listen, it's worth it. I'm not going to lie, the first couple of months can be really difficult. But after that, just think: No mixing bottles at 2am. No running out to the store at midnight because you ran out of formula. No washing bottles. You always have a source of food and comfort available for your baby and it's always the right temperature. And I haven't even mentioned the health benefits, which are numerous. My little man hasn't been sick yet, in spite of the fact that both his father and I have had colds. Not even a sniffle for him. Amazing. Plus, it's a rare opportunity for you to sit down with your baby and do nothing but bond. There's nothing more basic than providing nourishment.

More on this topic later. There's so much to say about breastfeeding. :)

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