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Breastfeeding is hard, Part 2

Written by: Jennifer Davis December 30 2012 A couple weeks ago, I shared my struggles with breastfeeding. I want to start off by saying thanks to all the readers, friends, and family who reached out with supportive words, and ideas of things to try. If there’s one thing I’ve come to realize, it’s that I’m...

Written by: Jennifer Davis

A couple weeks ago, I shared my struggles with breastfeeding. I want to start off by saying thanks to all the readers, friends, and family who reached out with supportive words, and ideas of things to try. If there’s one thing I’ve come to realize, it’s that I’m certainly not alone in my struggle. I’ve had many ask me since that post how things are going.

Did my body respond to the power pumping? Sadly, I don’t think it did. I haven’t seen any significant change in my supply.

How was the group meeting? It was okay. I did get some help with latching him, and I think I’m a little better at it now. If nothing else, it was fun to see all the babies.

Honestly, since then, I haven’t been nursing much. I do give it a try about once a day, whenever I feel like it, but that’s about it. I’m sure you’re all wondering why I suddenly “gave up.” Well, I really don’t feel like I did. In addition to the support group, I also had my six-week follow up appointment with my doctor that afternoon. I discussed my nursing issues with her, and she assured me that in fact, it sounds as though I’m lactating quite successfully. It’s just that Isaac is a big eater! She also shared with me that studies show whether a baby is eating 100% breast milk, or 50%, or 25%, they’re still getting all the benefits of nursing. This lifted a huge weight off my shoulders! My biggest concern through this whole ordeal was making sure I was providing Isaac with everything he needs to be happy and healthy.

Also, I had an epiphany during an early morning feeding. If you had told me a year ago that I would have a baby of my very own, I would have told you it did not matter one bit if I couldn’t nurse at all.

I’m counting my blessings that I can at least pump about half of what my little guy needs. I’ve released myself from the guilt of missing out on the perceived bonding time of nursing, because in fact, I find feeding times much more pleasant and happy when not trying to force the issue. I’m accepting what I have and finding contentment in that.

I’m not saying I am done trying. I will most likely continue to see if as he gets bigger he can latch better. However, if he doesn’t, that’s okay. I’m also trying some of the herbal supplements as well. It certainly can’t hurt.

I do think, as I sit here typing with my eight-week old baby boy cuddled on my lap, that we’re finally settling in to what works for us, and that’s all that really matters.