Before I update you on our story, I want to say thanks to everyone who wrote encouraging messages to me after I shared the Part 1 of our breastfeeding battle. Your kind words helped me to persevere and we are in a much better place now. Online breastfeeding support has really made a huge difference for me. In honor of World Breastfeeding Week 2011 I decided to update our breastfeeding story. Part 1 was written when Fisher was 3 weeks old, and I was really struggling. Breastfeeding is literally the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Things are so much better now, but without a lot of determination, help, and sheer stubbornness I would have given up.
Fisher is now 9 weeks old and feeding every 2.5 to 3 hours. After our doctor put us on formula/pumped milk supplementing (see Part 1) it took us 3 weeks to ween off of that routine. We were giving him up to 3 oz extra after every feeding, then went to 2, then to one and were able to use solely pumped breastmilk. Our lactation consultant came back and weighed him before and after a feeding, and told us he still wasn’t getting enough. I continued to pump after every feeding so that we could avoid using formula. This was a really hard stretch for all of us. Finally at his one month appointment Fisher gained enough weight to be taken off the supplements, slowly. We dropped the extra oz of breastmilk from 1 feeding every few days until we were left with just the late night feeding before his long stretch. We dropped that last week and he is doing really well.
Now I just pump after the first morning feeding to add to my stockpile. I have a big pile of milk building in our freezer! So exciting…
So many women told me that if I could keep going things would get better around 6 or 7 weeks, and that was so true. Breastfeeding finally clicked for us between 6-7 weeks, and we are rolling now. I’ve fed him at the mall, in the airport, on a plane, and he is gaining weight like a champ. We had a little set back last week when I developed mastitis, but we pushed through and are doing well.
If you are thinking about breastfeeding, know that it will be hard but it will get better and it is so worth it. Push through and fight for what is best for you and your baby. I have such respect for all those mamas out there who tried and had to give up, because this junk is hard. You will get no judgement from me, for sure. Lots of people have asked me how long I plan to breastfeed. Before Fisher was born I would say at least 6 months, hopefully a year. Now I say that I’m really optimistic about today, and the rest of the week is looking good. I really hope to make it to 6 months and then to 1 year, but I’m taking it one day at a time.
What is one piece of breastfeeding advice you wish someone had told you?
I’m glad to know it’s working out for you…your babe is adorable!
I so appreciate that you included this in your post:
“…I have such respect for all those mamas out there who tried and had to give up, because this junk is hard. You will get no judgement from me, for sure…”
As a young mom 30 years ago, (yikes! I feel ancient!), I do wish someone had told me that babies can grow up and become fine human beings no matter how they are fed. My little guy and I would have both have done better if he hadn’t been so hungry for the first few months of his life. It was finally discovered that he was not getting enough nourishment from me. He only began to thrive once I started supplementing with formula.
“You mean I could have been 6’2″?” was the response of my 5’8″ adult son, when we recently discussed his infancy! I’m all for breastfeeding, but hope any Mom’s who aren’t successful will move on without guilt. Baby will be fine!
(Off my soapbox now…and congrats again on your beautiful little guy!)
Becca, I am so happy to hear that breastfeeding is going better for you. You are truly proof that really hard work and perseverance can pay off, and I am thrilled you are finally getting to experience some of the wonderful rewards of breastfeeding. I know your story and compassionate heart will bless other mamas who are struggling.
I fear breastfeeding more than the birth process! I keep telling my sister she better be available for phone calls where I cry out of frustration and to remind me to stick to it.
Before having Harper, I always thought breastfeeding was just putting your kid to the boob and life was good. Ugh, dreamon. I haven’t had nearly as many issues as you have, but I still have wanted to give up at least a dozen times. I just wish someone had said, “Listen, baby’s out…but now is the hard part. Good luck.” I’m glad it’s gotten easier for you! We still need to get these babes together!
what a great story! Thank you so much for sharing your experience….it’s great to hear encouraging ones!
I am currently breastfeeding my fourth daughter. What I wish I would have known with the first is that your body and the baby’s body work in unison to make the right amount of milk if you feed on demand. There are exceptions of course, but I was always so worried about my supply! I believe that if I had just relaxed things would have gone smoother. With my last two, I have never used formula because I relaxed and fed them on demand…and it worked!
You are an amazing mom! So glad I get to share life with you!!