Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Adventures in Breastfeeding

Did you know that this week is World Breastfeeding Week? An entire week devoted to art of nourishing our babes.

My own adventures in breastfeeding began on May 31, 2005, when Kaiya, my first born came sliding into our lives. I tried right away to put her to my breast but had no luck getting her latched on. She had still not latched on by the time the midwives were ready to leave, so they encouraged me to continue trying, suggesting different techniques and said they would call in the morning and return in twenty-four hours.
During the night we tried and tried but nothing I could do helped her to latch. I felt so defeated . In the morning my midwife called to see how we were and advised that I hand express colostrum and give it to her on a sterilized spoon, so I did until she came again that evening, bringing with her a chiropractor, aka; sweet angel of breastfeeding bliss. I don't know exactly what she did, as a matter of fact, as she was doing it I didn't realize she was doing anything. She held her head gently and light touched the back sides of her head and voila! My baby latched on and nursed happily away for the next four years. She said that such and such had gotten out of line during delivery and just needed to be pushed back in or something or other. I don't really know as the only sound I heard was the sweet sucking of Kaiya at my breast.
She nursed right on through my pregnancy with Zoe as my milk didn't totally dry up.
Zoe, on the other hand, latched on before the placenta was even out. I breastfed them both for the next two and a half years. In the beginning they nursed together and later on began taking turns til Kaiya was down to only nursing upon waking in the mornings and in times of stress. At two Zoe nursed just as frequently as an infant. Exhausting, to say the least. But that only lasted til my milk dried completely up about four months into my third pregnancy, and they both gave up the boob for good.
Enter River. My third and last breastfeeding babe. She has nursed easily since day one. I had wondered if the other girls, especially Zoe, would ask to nurse once the milk returned, but they didn't. I was grateful and a little sad about that, too. The five month break from breasting during my pregnancy was nice. I enjoyed being able to wear whatever I wanted and just the freedom to sit alone. But when River came and I put her to my breast for the first time I didn't once miss that "freedom". To be all my baby needs is the greatest feeling in the world.
Breastfeeding is about so much more than filling a belly. It bonds and soothes (on both sides) like no other. And it provides the very best start we can possibly give our children.


Rachel Kovaciny said...

I love their little hands clutching the shirt while they nurse -- one of my fave images of both my kids. That and the look of complete peace as they fall asleep, the little chins and cheeks still going strong, but the eyes closed. Which is what Mercedes is doing at this very moment...

Katie said...

Thanks for sharing and for celebrating World Breastfeeding Week! I love how you say it: To be all my baby needs is the greatest feeling in the world. I agree!

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