{my experience with breastfeeding}

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In honor of National Breastfeeding Month I wanted to share a little bit  of what my experience with breastfeeding was, in hopes to inspire or help  mommies-to-be out there who are contemplating breastfeeding or mommies who are, currently, going through a difficult time breastfeeding their little ones. 

I want to start off by saying that breastfeeding is not for everyone. Every mother, every baby and every circumstance is different. Your first child may be able to breastfeed like a charm and your second may not be able to at all. I also want to add that I am not a medical professional so everything I will be  sharing is based upon my experience and what I have learned breastfeeding two children.

When I became pregnant with Gus Jr. breastfeeding was always how I wanted my baby to get his nutriance. I did a lot reading and research. I knew that it was souly the healthiest and most organic source of nutrience for my baby. A mothers milk is made of the exact vitamins and minerals that her baby--it's basically gold. 

Several experienced women had told me it was difficult at first--like a lot of things but I really didn't know to what extent.  Well let's just say it was wayyy more difficult than I ever imagined it to be. Gus latched on great from the very first time I tried to feed him in the hospital. Latching is something many women have a lot of trouble with so I was lucky he latched on so easily, me being a first time mom.

My breasts were sore for weeks. If I didn't feed every 1.5-2 hours my breasts would get engorged. And it was exhausting --very exhausting. and frustrating. Especially considering Gus was a large baby. He weighed 8lbs 14oz. 

At the beginning I wasn't producing enough milk to feed him. He was eating all the time. I did supplement with formula here and there--mainly for nighttime feedings so he could sleep a little longer, since formula is heavier than breast-milk. 

After a rough first month or so, I finally had breastfeeding down. I was able to breast feed him for 9 months. I had to stop breastfeeding him because I found out I was pregnant with our little  princess. And my experience  with her was a completely different story. I was only able to breastfeed her for about 2 1/2 months.

When Olivia was born, I kind of already knew what to expect and honestly, I was expecting breastfeeding to be just as easy, if not easier than it had been with Gus--well besides the initial first month. She didn't latch on immediately like Gus did. It definitely took her a few tries. 

A couple weeks after we came home from the hospital, Olivia started having crying episodes. They were high pitched but I figured she was just having gas since Gus had the same thing and we did some exercises with her that we had done with Gus when he was little. That seemed to soothe her for a little bit.  Nothing would make her happy. She screamed in the car seat, in my arms, wherever. We actually stopped going a lot of places because her crying episodes were so bad. 

Well after multiple doctor appointments and several formula's later her pediatrician told Olivia had an allergy to a protein in milk. By that point I had already been supplementing with formula out of the frustration, that I couldn't calm her down. We tried Enfamil Premium Newborn, Enfamil Gentlease Enfamil ProSobee (a soy based formula) and then finally the peditrician recommended we try Similac Alimentum. That did the trick. It was much much more expensive than the regular formula and breastfeeding, obviously. 

I always carry that guilty feeling that I breastfed Gus longer and gave him a better source of vitamins for  much longer than I was able to with Olivia. But like I said earlier, every baby and every situation is different!

I definitely would not have been able to do it without the support of my husband and my mom who pushed me during those initial days/weeks. I think a strong support system is crucial for success in breastfeeding. It requires a lot of patience--a lot of understanding from your spouse or partner. It really helps a lot to communicate your feelings with your support system. That initial time when you come home from the hospital and after you have given birth is filled with lots of changes in your lifestyle, your hormones and not everyone copes with it the same. Believe me I shed many tears breastfeeding with both babies--but that's just me. I'm a crier. 

It requires a lot of sacrifice from your part--you cant eat a lot of things depending on how your baby reacts to it. The baby also depends on you more than normal. You really almost have to have the baby with you at all times unless you are pumping but I found that, that required a lot more work, that I simply did not have time nor the energy to do. 

For the women that are able to do this, it truly is a wonderful and beautiful thing. And it is a gift to be able to nurture your baby with something so organic that you can produce. It is truly amazing how mother nature works!!

I hope this was somewhat helpful information, if you are a mommy-to-be or if you are past this stage, I hope you enjoyed reading this! 


  1. Love this! I too wrote a breastfeeding post for National Breastfeeding week. I'll be posting it tomorrow. Thanks for being a source of encouragement for other women!

  2. I'm so sorry that you and Olivia went through all that crying and discomfort! :( It is so hard to know what's going on sometimes. I'm so glad you were able to make her feel better with the special formula. Thank you for sharing your story!

  3. Great post! Sorry you couldn't go longer with Olivia, bummer she wasn't happy with a protein in your milk. Breastfeeding was way harder and more annoying than I ever thought, but it is really nice when you've got it downpat.


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