Sunday, October 16, 2011

Breastfeeding the first week

Breastfeeding is not easy. There are women out there that will tell you that it came so natural and it was so wonderful right from the start. I think that these women have amnesia. I think that they forget that their nipples are cracked and bleeding and that a baby needs fifty tries to get a latch that he likes that does not cause you to screech in pain. I love breastfeeding but I love it like training for a race. I love it like a really hard run. Its not easy but that's what makes it so awesome. There I am feeding my baby. He needs nothing else but my milk and I am doing it. I have managed to do it for one whole week! I am amazed and empowered by the fact that although not easy and totally consuming I am giving him the best start I can.

When I had my first son I was a young mom. Still in college and back to school one week after birth. I had tried to breastfeed but I was not successful for long. There were possible physiological reasons that I was not successful such as him having a poor latch. Also, not enough time to establish the feeding from a breast before I had to start pumping. I have always felt guilty that I could not keep it up for as long as I would have liked. It was not fair that he and I could not have that. I actually shed tears of frustration over how hard it was and how I could not do it. I am determined not to have those same regrets with this little guy. I am not going to say its easy. Its also not going to be easy to pump at a job like mine teaching physical education to students with disabilities. If I have to work then I am going to surely give him my milk when I am gone. Easy or not... I am determined that we will do this for the next six months.

Some things I have learned so far....
Breastfed babies need a lot of diapers. I am not kidding....A LOT.

Their poop can be runny and that is normal, this is not diarrhea.

It will take a lot of trial and error before you will get the latch thing right so that it does not hurt.

Babies can have a favorite boob.

When my milk came in I felt like I had the munchies for two days.

Engorgement is not eased by pumping. You will just make more. Its fine for stocking up but not for milk reduction.

Constipation and thirst go with breastfeeding.

A sports watch is really handy when breastfeeding. Stop watch feature can tell you how long since the last feeding and how long baby is eating. No one will use those fancy timers at three am that you can buy for breastfeeding, the watch with indiglo is indispensable.Until wearing a watch I have only been able to tell what time it is by looking out my window. I just purchased a new timex that I am waiting to come in the mail. I can use it for all of the above and also when I return to exercise to time my first very slow miles.
I still look about four month pregnant but the rest of me is looking a lot more normal. I have put my wedding rings back on my finger. I have still not left the house (one week later) and I have no intention to do so until my appointment on Friday to look at my incision.

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