Why is it so much easier to cry in the shower? I guess it’s because nobody can tell that you are crying. Seclusion with your emotions. When I was planning on breastfeeding my baby before she was born, I was going to “try” to breastfeed for a year. Little did I know my little girl would love to nurse and go even longer. Nobody ever talked to me about breastfeeding longer than a year. My emotions would soon be turned from I hope I can do this, to when and how do you stop. My emotional attachment has a big role in this, making me want to keep going even longer. Something that has become a part of our everyday life multiple times a day has become a very gradual change for us in the weaning process. I don’t think my heart could take a sudden change of that caliber. So when my almost-2-year-old wants to nurse one part of me says, “Let’s do this” and the other part of me says “Really? You just play.” The whirlwind of emotions usually leads to me giving in. I know, distract her, change the routine, but of course this is easier said than done. In a way it’s like mourning the loss of breastfeeding because I know this wonderful thing will come to an end. I never would have thought in a million years this experience would have been so wonderful. That the most simple thing I could offer my baby would come from me alone and impact me and my baby the way that it has. Until the last day of nursing I will simply take it one day at a time.
Breastfeeding Archives - MOMcircle
When I was pregnant, I remember being reluctant to commit to long-term breastfeeding. I didn’t understand pumping and had quite a bit of anxiety about having to do it at work, not to mention explaining to my employer. During my maternity leave, I absolutely loved breastfeeding my daughter, so I read up on the benefits and challenges of being a working, breastfeeding mom. I found that the federal government has made provisions just for moms like me!
The Fair Labor Standards Act (a mouthful, I know!) outlines what your employer is required to provide for you as a breastfeeding momma, including “a reasonable break time for an employee to express breastmilk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” A quick chat with my supportive HR representative led to the arrangement of a private pumping room. Ok, so it was a storage closet with a chair, lamp, table, and an extension cord, but it worked! And after the first couple of weeks, it was just like second nature.
Formula can cost hundreds per month, and even WIC is only supplemental, which means it is just a part of what baby will need, so you’ll still be paying out of pocket for some of it. Breastfeeding costs nothing, plus it supplies your baby with perfect nutrition. Another great piece of legislation for breastfeeding moms inside the Affordable Care Act says “health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding.” That means your insurance should cover the cost of a pump and lactation consultations. More savings!
So, there you have it. It can be done. Any amount of breastmilk our babies get is a blessing, and everyone likes to save money! So whether you are fully or partially breastfeeding, don’t feel like going back to work means you have to stop.
#breastfeeding #breastfeedingworkingmom #breastfeedingsavesmoney
As a young, naïve, soon-to-be mom of my firstborn, I didn’t like it when people asked if I was going to breastfeed. I never really understood or knew much about it. Quite honestly, I didn’t really care. I felt the same way with my second child. If anybody ever said anything to me about breastfeeding, I would always shut them off. The way I look at my body now is totally different than I did at that point in my life. Looking back on my first two kids, I sit here and think – how could I have been so selfish to have taken away one of the best, most priceless things I could have given my babies? I would often think about this before my third child was born. I always said if I was to have another baby, I was absolutely going to breastfeed, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If the good Lord is willing and the creek don’t rise, it will happen.
We welcomed to the world our third little girl a few years after our second. I was never really one to put myself out there, especially when it was something that I was uncomfortable with in the first place. But, I remember like it was yesterday the lactation consultant coming into my room after I had my little girl and asking if I wanted help getting her latched. Normally I am very shy, especially when it comes to my body. That particular day, however, I wanted to breastfeed so badly I didn’t care if she looked, held, touched or did anything of the sort with my breast as long as my child was getting fed my breastmilk. It was a moment I will never forget.
I still have regrets to this day about not feeding my first two babies breastmilk. I was very naïve about everything and, in a sense, selfish. Being a mom changes you in ways that you could never imagine, and being selfish is not in the mom dictionary. Selfishness is turned into selfless. The amazing gift that I gave my third baby will not only be looked at as a way for me to feed her, but also as a life lesson for me. Knowledge is power, and power can change the world. It is an amazing feeling to give the gift of a lifetime, for a lifetime.
Breastfeeding isn’t always a cake walk, but after the initial teething stage – I really thought I had hit expert status. The Universe has ways to make us learn, though, am I right? Nobody prepared me for some of the more colorful moments that come with nursing a toddler like breastfeeding acrobatics, teething (again), or my early talker to spark comments from the old-schoolers about being “old enough to ask for it”.
I learned not to care if my girl was doing gymnastics besides me on the couch while latched. That high kick is on point, baby girl. I learned that I, too, can roll my eyes at things (or comments) I find absurd. Yes, my 18-month-old very clearly asked for ni-ni while pulling my shirt up. Throw that judgment elsewhere, folks. I’m just trying to feed my child over here. I also learned that a one minute time out from nursing can help with a toddler bent on chewing through a feeding. Best of all, these moments really make for hilariously sweet stories eventually.
In the heat of the stress, it can be easy to panic. Just try to remember that you’ll get through it, and likely laugh about it later. They’re infants for a year, toddlers for few more, then you realize your sweet, tiny baby is a full blown kid. You’re going to miss these days, savor them while you can.
She was about a week old, nursing every hour 24 hours a day. I had waited until I was 28 to become a mother, so I thought I had this in the bag, but here I was, almost 20% of my maternity leave gone, with engorged breasts and cracked, bleeding nipples. My partner would be going back to work soon. We had been supplementing a few ounces of formula every day, per the doctor’s orders, due to jaundice. As her bilirubin numbers got to a normal range, her pediatrician gave no encouragement either way, just information: we could stop supplementing if desired, or continue.
I wasn’t sure I could keep breastfeeding, and there was still plenty of pre-mixed formula the hospital sent home with us. It was like it was staring at me. I had researched parenting and feeding baby like a crazy woman, took parenting classes, and kept reading and hearing “breast is best,” but I knew plenty of babies who thrived on formula. I was on the verge of giving up and switching to formula, but my wise older sister and mother of three stopped in to check on my brand new baby girl and me.
I told her how I was feeling — the physical pain of breastfeeding, the exhaustion, the guilt over not being able to do it, and the temptation to give up. I asked how she managed to breastfeed three babies successfully because I wasn’t sure I was cut out for it. She was kind and told me how she never breastfed her oldest (she was only 20 and I was 8, so I must have been too young to remember). Her first breastfeeding experience was with her second child, and she said that is when she realized what she missed out on the first time around. She told me about how it gets better, that after the second or third week your nipples heal and the lovey-dovey hormones kick in. She explained proper positioning and latch (which was a game changer), and all the money you can save by breastfeeding.
Then she got very serious, put her hand on my shoulder and spoke to me in a way that only my big sister can, “You are going to feed this baby. Whether it is from your breast or a bottle, you feed her. Take it one day at a time, you can do it. But remember, this isn’t just about you. You’re a mother now.” I’ll never forget her words or that moment. I decided to stick it out, one day at a time, and she was right. With a little luck, I did it with no supplementation after 2 weeks. I started pumping at 4 weeks, back to work full time at 6 weeks. Pumping wasn’t my favorite, but thanks to brilliant federal laws, my job had to give me breaks and a private space to do it.
I stopped pumping at my one-year goal when the daycare switched her to cow’s milk, but baby girl had other ideas. We continued nursing at night and on the weekends, and night weaned at 17 months. She self-weaned a few months after her second birthday. Breastfeeding a child is one of the most amazing experiences — it’s almost magical. The end was so bittersweet for me, and I have to say, nursing my baby felt like the thing I was put on this earth to do.
While I was breastfeeding my daughter, I struggled with knowing when to stop. I began offering her cow’s milk instead of the breast once she turned a year old, but she would cry until I gave in and nursed her. At that moment, I realized that I was ready to stop breastfeeding, but my baby wasn’t. I continued breastfeeding for two more months. At fourteen months old, my daughter gradually self-weaned. It’s easy to assume that they’re done breastfeeding once they turn a year old, but then what? Will my bond be broken? Of course not. We are their heroes for life. If you want to keep breastfeeding your baby beyond a year, go for it. There may be people telling you to stop, but at the end of the day, your voice is the only one that matters to your baby. Just like you began your breastfeeding journey together, together you’ll decide the right time to end.
Need help with breastfeeding? Experts are available to talk to you for FREE at 877-271-6455 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
If you’re feeling pain when you breastfeed, then remove baby from your breast and try again. If he latches on right, it shouldn’t hurt. You’re a success when you try again! Call a WIC expert at 877-271-MILK (6455) for free, helpful tips.
I was blessed to spend a full 8 weeks at home with both of my babies after they were born. When I was home with my baby boy, my husband still took my three-year-old daughter to daycare so my son and I could have that special time for us. I was proud to nurse him through his six-week growth spurt with no formula. Every ounce he gained was because of me.
When I went back to work, I had to pump twice a day. At first, it was exciting to pump. It was amazing to me that my body could produce so much milk. After a few months, it wasn’t exciting anymore. I had to remind myself every time I pumped that this was for my son, and that my milk was something only I could give him. My milk had benefits for his whole life, which was more important than taking a break with my friends. I am so thankful for the support I had at work. I had a private place to pump and a boss that understood how important breastfeeding was to me. My co-worker had a baby a few months after me and was also breastfeeding. We supported each other through that first year.
It isn’t easy to work and breastfeed. Expressing breastmilk for my baby was a selfless act of love.