Yesterday I reached a big milestone for myself (and the babies). For the first time in the almost 8 months since my children were born, their liquid intake over the last 2 weeks has been exclusively breastmilk (they also receive “solid” food). To many people this may not seem like a big deal, but for me breastfeeding has been a long and arduous journey.
I had always had all intentions of exclusively breastfeeding (and pumping for a stored supply) while I was on maternity leave and then a combination of breastfeeding and pumping when I went back to work. When I found out at 8+ weeks that I was having twins, I prepared myself for the chance that I might need to supplement.
With all that in mind, I always knew that breastfeeding would never be an easy road. I read up on it, talked to friends and took a breastfeeding class. I was prepared for possible latching issues, painful nipples, leaking boobs, wearing bras and nursing pads 24/7 and all that jazz.
My story ended up experiencing pretty much every bump in the road that could be there (latching issues, low milk supply, mastitis, etc) – and I definitely understand why people quit or never try – and I will never question’s anyone’s choice. I do feel that you should go in prepared, and you should try, but if its not your cup of tea – than so be it. There are plenty of people who were raised on formula from birth and are smarter than I. There are MANY reasons why breastfeeding isn't an option – whether its that the mother has/had a medical condition that will not allow it or the child has a medical condition that they need specialized formula, or maybe it’s just not your lifestyle – whatever you chose, you will be choosing what is best for you and your child!
I had thoughts of quitting, but in the end always stuck with it – and I hope that I can and will continue to stick with it over the next 4 months before I finally start to wean, but anything can happen, and therefore the only promise I will make to myself and my family is that we will take it one day at a time and when the time is right, we will move on.
I could tell you all about SNS, Power Pumping, Breastmilk supplements, Low Milk Supply, but in the end it took the course of time, the “introduction” of solids (they've been on solids for 4 months), real solids like cheerios, the help and knowledge of lactation consultant, nursing/nipple shields, a handful of pumps and pump accessories, lots of lanolin, and LOADS of determination to get us to this point and no matter the rough days that are behind (and ahead of us), I am very proud of reaching this milestone.
What milestones, stories and questions do you have about breastfeeding and pumping!