Next week marks an important milestone in my son’s life, he’ll be turning 4 months old! I really can not believe how fast time has gone by, but with the passing of time comes many new developments. One of those will include the introduction to fumula and food. 

I know what you’re thinking….Why are you stopping at only four months? Well let me break it down for you. When I decided to breastfeed my baby, the goal I set for myself was at least 4 months, 6 months if possible. I met my goal so I am very satisfied that I was able to nourish my baby from the breast for that long because I only lasted a few weeks with my daughter.

If you read my previous post about FMLA I discussed how I was going back to work which plays a major role in breastfeeding. Yes, I was able to use the hour designated for my lunch to pump and took an additional break, but it was stressful worrying about if I was going to produce enough milk for him, when I would be able to get out the classroom to pump, and it was especially hard dedicating those times to just pumping and not seeing him. 

This also had an effect at home because I mostly fed him directly or pumped bottles if I needed a mini break (it was hard to get a real break because he ate nonstop!). In the middle of the night I was feeding, at the break of dawn, and before bed. It felt really overwhelming, to say the least. My husband assisted as much as he could, but the fear of my supply decreasing by bottle use scared me!

So I have decided to give my son formula to supplement my breast milk. What’s wrong with having another source of nurishment for your child? I am well aware of the plethora of benefits that breastfeeding has for baby, but it also takes a lot of time, dedication, and employer support to successfully do so. 

To me, breastfeeding is a special time for baby and Mommy to interact. If that time is interrupted or constrained it makes the process that much harder. I hope that you will be able to breastfeed for as long as possible, it’s a really beautiful thing and the healthiest option for your baby. 

So many moms want to breastfeed their children for longer, but can’t. The way our society and work system is set up isn’t conducive for this special time between mom and baby. Moms take off from work, leave work, or stop working all together just to be with their child(ren). Tell me how this is fair and who does it benefit? 
America, let’s do better! Moms, let’s stand united for our babies!

A breast story

Now that our second baby has arrived I think it’s safe for me to let go of the fears that I held onto prior to my pregnancy. In the beginning, the biggest fear of them all being breastfeeding. In the past when I heard the word breastfeeding I instantly cringed and wanted to hide because it seemed like such an isolated daunting task, I just didn’t want to think about using my breasts to feed another child. 

Back in 2009 when I had my daughter there were so many things going on that I could not focus or fully prepare myself for breastfeeding. I remember reading books and articles about how breastfeeding was best for both mom and baby, and of course I agreed with this information 100%, but I couldn’t readily apply this information to my own life. As a student I was focusing on finishing up final assignments and preparing for graduation, in addition to ultrasounds, fetal monitoring and working! I also never saw anyone I knew breastfeed so I had no idea how it actually worked in real life. 

What I am learning this time around is using the focus and preparation I didn’t have before to my advantage. Being able to have sometime off from work before baby arrived helped me to mentally prepare myself for breastfeeding. Not only did I research my questions about breastfeeding, but I also visualized myself being successful at breastfeeding as soon as my child was born. I imagined I was one of those few mothers you would see at the mall unafraid to satisfy their child’s needs, whipping out their breast at a moment’s notice. I also brought nursing bras and wore them while I was pregnant and practiced using them, blankets that I wanted to specifically use for feeding my child, and I purposely strayed away from purchasing bottles. 

When my son was born I told the nurses no bottles or pacifiers, I wanted to ensure there were no issues with him initially latching on or getting confused. Unfortunately, I had to wait some time after my c-section to feed him, but as soon I was out of the recovery room I woke him up and we got right to it! It was such a joy to know that I was giving him everything that he needed, I felt so much closer and comfortable with him that any fears that I had left easily subsided. 

Almost 6 weeks after he was born we are still doing well with breastfeeding. I’ve also started to pump as I will be returning to work in a few weeks. FYI most insurance plans cover some type of breast bump, but their are certain stipulations. I was lucky enough to get a Medela Pump in Style through my insurance.