August 1-7, 2018 is World Breastfeeding Week and August is National Breastfeeding month so I figured I'd do a series of blog posts about my breastfeeding journey with my son.
If you've read my other posts, you know I have a son named Kitt who was born in September 2016 via cesarean. Prior to becoming pregnant with him, I really never thought twice about breastfeeding. Like many Americans, I was only used to seeing babies being bottle fed. I'd never known anyone who breastfed.
I really think the only reason I knew breastfeeding existed is science class where you learn that mammals produce milk. I'm not exactly sure how or when I made the decision to breastfeed. I'm assuming it had something to do with my doula or a book she recommended but once my decision was made, there was no looking back. Until I got more educated on the matter, it was simply because it was free. Have you checked the price of formula lately?
After my son's birth, he was taken off to the NICU where he stayed for a week before being released. Here's where my journey starts.
All I know is thank God for my amazing doula and husband. Once we were wheeled back into the recovery room, they made sure the first thing that happened was breastfeeding. I don't have great recollection of this time but apparently little man fed for 45 minutes!
Once he was taken to the NICU, the nurses brought me a hospital grade pump and I started pumping every 3 hours. When I was finished a pumping session, I'd label the milk and bring it to the nurses who would send it down to the NICU for him. Until I was producing enough, he was given donor milk for which I am ever grateful! By the end of the second day, my supply was starting to come in. The nurses even stated how impressed they were and that I could "feed the whole floor".
It wasn't until the third day that he was able to latch again. Prior to that, he was fed by tube. I remember being so engorged. My doula came to sit with me in the NICU and as I was hooked up to a pump, she literally pulled on my breasts until they were unclogged. Talk about milking a cow!
Now, breastfeeding came easily to me despite the obstacles in the beginning and for that, I'm very grateful. It doesn't for some women, even if they don't have any obstacles.
My first goal was to make it to at least 6 months.
Stay tuned for next week's post on my journey during Kitt's first year.
Allesanda received her Bachelors in Behavioral Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in December 2013. She now lives in North Texas with her husband and children. As a doula and educator of infant sleep and eco-friendly living, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.