Hi! My name is Jacque, and I am from Huntsville, Alabama. I am married to a wonderful man named Jonathan, and we have an amazing little boy named Ben. I blog at Little Natural Mama.
This is our breastfeeding journey:
On July 4, 2012, I gave birth to a firecracker named Benjamin Thomas who weighed 6 lbs. 14oz at 40 weeks gestation. He came into the world screaming and did so for an hour after he was born!
While I was in the hospital, the lactation specialists were not very helpful with getting Ben latched on. Luckily, I am a neonatal ICU nurse with experience in helping moms with breastfeeding. We went home from the hospital on Friday, July 6, and I thought all was well. Over the weekend, Ben woke up every hour after nursing and his latch was painful. On Saturday morning, I put in a frantic phone call to our NICU lactation consultant, Cindy. She had me pump and bottle feed Ben for the remainder of the weekend, and I went in to see Cindy on Monday morning. We tried to nurse, but Ben still would not latch on properly. Cindy tried a nipple shield, which worked perfectly. For the next week, I alternated pumping and bottle feeding and nursing with the shield because Ben was getting frustrated with it. At this point, Ben was nursing every hour and a half. I pumped and bottle fed for another week. After that, we just nursed with the shield.
During those grueling first weeks, I had many plugged ducts and battled two bouts of mastitis.
When Ben was around 6 weeks old he refused the shield. I automatically thought that he was refusing to nurse, then I tried to latch him on without it. It was a success! He nursed for 45 minutes. I continued weekly weight checks for a few weeks, then we got into a groove. Ben started nursing every 2-3 hours at 7 to 8 weeks old as opposed to every 1 1/2 hours!
At 8 weeks, I returned to work on an as needed basis in the neonatal ICU. I had to pump every 3 hours religiously. As you can imagine, that is an incredible feat while caring for sick babies. I would wake up at 4:30 and either nurse Ben or pump for a morning bottle. Then, at work I would pump at 7:30, 10:30, 1:30, and again at 4:30 or 5pm. When I got home from work, I would nurse Ben right before bedtime.
I continued to nurse until Ben was almost 14 months old. I would have kept nursing for longer, but he bit me twice in a nursing session one afternoon. He refused to latch on after that. We were only nursing 2- 3 times a day at that point, so I just let my milk dry up.
My little guy is now almost 2 years old and thriving!
My main reason for breastfeeding was all of the wonderful antibodies that mother's milk provides babies with. Another perk was that it was free and readily available.
My greatest advice for new moms is to not be afraid to ask questions and ask for help. Breastfeeding is not for the weak of heart. It will be hard at times, but the bond and the benefits far outweigh every bad moment.
Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar!