I'm going to be honest, I didn't know milk came out the woman's breast. I remember thinking, Wow! How beautiful! I remember watching her comfort her son in a way that I wanted for my child some day. I began asking a million and one questions... How does it feel? How does the milk come in? When does the milk stop? Does he bite? Does this create a unique bond? She answered every single question. I remember thinking, could I be comfortable doing this in public? What would people's reaction be?
I did a little research on breastfeeding when I got home and fell in love with the bonding stories a lot of the moms talked about on the blogs, and I fell in love with the health benefits. It was then that I decided that if we became pregnant I would breastfeed.
When we became pregnant with our first child, two weeks prior to my due date, I prepared my nipples. I wet a warm cloth and rubbed my nipples and massaged my breast in a circular motion to stimulate the breast. I would squeeze my nipples noticing the nodes had thick white dots (milk perhaps). My husband is going to kill me for this one, but I asked him to latch on so I could see how the baby would, more so to see if it would be painful.
When I delivered my baby girl, my "milk" was thick and clear, but not milk. I remember crying because I really wanted the nursing to work, but there was no milk. Three days later my breasts went from A cups to fully engorged D cups! I remember my breasts were so heavy, I couldn't wait until Nevaeh released me. When she first latched on, it did hurt essentially. But the lactation nurse came in and helped telling me, "it shouldn't hurt." Which was true! Once she latched on correctly it didn't hurt at all. However, I did contract a yeast infection from her latching on incorrectly. My daughter was biting down on my nipples and made them raw. In my mind I planned on nursing for at least one year. Nevaeh had other plans. At nine months she was done. She was introduced to table food (mashed potatoes) and rejected my milk. I really was sad. I didn't make it to a year. We decided to give her almond milk as well as cashew milk. My milk, after trying every remedy in the books and blogs, didn't dry up until two years after the fact. Overall, it went fantastic and I loved the bond we shared.
While breastfeeding my son, everything was similar until it was time to ween. Omgeeeeee!!! Can you say hell!!! He reached 12 months so I thought, okay, time to ween. He wasn't ready! We had the big move to California at 18 months which was a huge transition for him. I needed to wait until we got settled in... or so I thought. Two years old and nope, he still wasn't ready. I remember trying everything-going on trips, sleeping in another room, trying to dry up my milk, but nothing worked! He would scream bloody murder. What was it that this boy didn't want to let go of the milk? I began talking with him. "Mommy is all done", I would tell him. I remember him saying, "I want sweet warm milk". I decided to give it a couple of more weeks and that turned into another year. At 3 years and 3 weeks, I decided to go cold turkey. It took a whole week of him crying it out. I honestly wouldn't recommend this as your first choice as it was too emotional for us both. I strongly believe if I didn't ween Jo Jo cold turkey he would still be nursing. I did allow him to cuddle before bed and have "boobie time" where he would lay on my chest and after 10-15 minutes he would fall asleep. Possibly listening to my heartbeat or it's the first thing he had contact with coming out the wound. I'm not sure, but one thing is for sure, should we have another child I think I would pump and nurse at the same time. Three years is was entirely too long for me. Overall breastfeeding is beautiful and I would do it again (:
Here are some of the things I did for my milk to flow:
*Mother's Milk Tea
*Tons of water
*Eating (plenty for me and baby)
*Lansinoh (cream for sore nipples)
*Warm cloth on nipples 15 mins prior to nursing
*Beer (not a full bottle, mostly the fizz helped my milk flow (:
Donchelle is due with her third child in late October. She is planning on breastfeeding, but she is not sure if she is going to pump exclusively and bottle feed or breastfeed directly. "I'm a little reserved, more so worried about the weening process because with Jo Jo it was so difficult." Donchelle, no matter what you decide, I support you!
Update as of August 29, 2017: Breastfeeding the third time around, I most definitely have to say was a lot easier, but I had some challenging moments after going back to work. Baby girl didn't start taking the bottle until she was six months old. So driving to work three times a day for my hubby was hard, but we got through that patch. Last month I got my first cycle after having her and my milk decreased significantly. I don't know why. I was seriously only able to produce 4 oz. total after pumping for 30 minutes on both breasts. I was told it was because of my cycle. The week after, my milk supply went back up and I was pumping 8 oz. in 30 minutes.
I'm beyond thankful for the bonding moments we share when she climbs on my lap to nurse️!