Written on Friday, December 29, 2006 by Jessica
I just realized that I made it six months breastfeeding.
I can still remember when I was pregnant, imagining how I was going to breastfeed for a year or more. No pacifiers, no bottles 'til I returned to work. Just me an' my baby. I'd heard that some people had difficulty nursing, but I figured I wouldn't be one of them. I might have problems in the beginning, but I'd get them ironed out and would be effortlessly nursing in no time.
Then the reality of a child latched to my nipples set in. At six weeks, I was in such despair. I didn't know how I was going to survive even three months, let alone an entire year. The pain was so much more than I imagined possible. I couldn't nurse long enough to increase my supply. He was getting one bottle of formula every one to two days. I felt like a miserable failure. (And I wasn't even dealing with anything serious like mastitis!)
But I kept at it, and slowly things began to improve. I worked tirelessly on the latch. We never got it exactly right b/c it always hurt, but it helped to have a decent latch. I took herbs to boost my supply (being fuller made nursing less painful). I alternated sides, nursing on only one side each session. By far, this helped the most. Once he started eating every three hours, it meant that each side would get a six hour break in between nursing sessions.
And now here I am at six months, toting my pump around work, making enough milk to be formula free (yay me!), and knowing I can nurse as long as I like.