Disclosure: This post is part our series in observance of World Breastfeeding Week and is sponsored by Woman’s Hospital.
My breastfeeding journey began 8 years ago in the (old) Woman’s Hospital, I was a young 23 year old who was absolutely terrified. Terrified of being a mom, of keeping this tiny little human alive, and raising her to be an amazing person. I was also terrified of breastfeeding, but I knew it was the absolute best thing for my baby. So I took a slightly different route and decided to only pump, I rented a pump from the hospital and only pumped for 6 months straight, I was slightly terrified of her attaching and me not doing it right and honestly the thought of it hurting was a little scary too.
Two years later, something in me changed and with the support of mom groups and the sweet nurses at the hospital, I knew I could breastfeed for an entire year with my second baby. The fear I had became more of determination. I knew if she latched, my body would produce more, and I could probably breastfeed longer than I was able to with my first. So on January 4th, my second little girl entered the world, and this time I called in the lactation specialist at the hospital and learned all the tricks to help the babies latch. By day two, I felt like an amazon warrior princess. I sent my husband to buy a pump from the store so I could pump after each feeding and store it in my freezer. By March, I had a huge freezer stash and I was not worried about going back to work because I knew she would have plenty of milk.
Now I am not going to lie to you, the nurses told me that the first three weeks were going to be the hardest, and they were telling the truth! I wanted to give up a few times, because breastfeeding is not the easiest thing in the world. It is uncomfortable, your boobs will grow at least 4 cup sizes bigger, and you will feel like a human vending machine, BUT it was also so very rewarding. I made it through those first 3 weeks and continued to pump and breastfeed for 9 months; by month nine my milk started to dry up. I tried all the old wives tales, like dark beer and oatmeal, but I just couldn’t produce enough to continue trying. Luckily I had pumped all that time, so my little one had mom’s milk all the way until her first birthday.
I remember doing the math with my second daughter and realizing how much money we saved not having to buy formula; it was somewhere around the $2,000 range. I absolutely bragged to my husband with that number … who can turn their nose up at two grand?! To tell you the truth, breastfeeding is one of my fondest memories about my babies being little. We got a lot of one on one time together and the look those sweet little babies give you while eating, like you are their entire world and the sun rises and sets on you, is kind of awe inspiring. To all the mommies and moms to be out there, I ask you to do some research and see if breastfeeding could be something you would like to try. I know it is not possible for everyone and some moms actually donate breastmilk to other moms who can not produce. I love when women support women and there is something about being a mom; it’s like we all keep an eye out for each other’s children when we can.
So if you want to try breastfeeding, I suggest joining a mom group on Facebook (or in person) and start asking questions. Ask all the questions!! I know you have lots of them so ask! There are plenty of women out there who will gladly share their stories with you.