In honor of my best friend announcing her pregnancy and entering her second trimester, I thought I would write about breastfeeding from the perspective not usually heard from in the breastfeeding blogosphere. If you have read any of my earlier posts on this subject, you will know that I had a hell of a time with milk supply. I was lucky enough that Lucy latched on great from the get-go. In that, I am truly grateful. However, by one month we started supplementing, and by four months, she had completely weaned herself. It was really hard for me to deal with, and I tried everything to get her to come back to b-fing. Everything, except for two things, that probably would have either saved our relationship, or saved my milk supply at six months when I completely dried up.
1. Have a lactation consultant who will make HOUSE CALLS. I am yelling that in print because I talked to several on the phone and I didn't get anything out of the phone calls that I didn't already know. Believe me, I became a booby expert after we started having issues. My goal in life was to be a milk machine, and instead, I just started to smell like maple syrup. I am sure that some of our problems with reflux and my little hungry hippo could have been solved had we had someone who could come over and help me coax my daughter gently back into breastfeeding.
2. Find a local La Leche League group and GO! Why I didn't do this, I will never know. I should have gone while I was pregnant and started learning and building a support group before I ran into problems. To be honest, I didn't really know. I read the La Leche League book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding while I was pregnant. It helped me understand more of what to expect from this new frontier, but it can come across condescending at times, especially if you run into serious problems.
The best advice I can give to someone who is on the fence about breastfeeding is talk to someone who has done it, or is doing it that you respect. This choice is very personal, and breastfeeding is not for everyone. It can be an amazing experience if you are open to it. It can also leave you heartbroken when it doesn't work out. Welcome to motherhood.
That being said, most problems can be solved with the right support system. I may look into asking my pediatrician for a prescription for Reglan or Domiperidone next time around. Whatever you decide to do, just know that your child will grow up happy and healthy with formula or breast milk. Regardless of what you may read, you are not going to poison your baby if you give them formula. However, breastfeeding can be one of the most amazing moments you will ever have as a mother, and if you want to give it a try, I say go for it! You may run into bumps, but with a good support system around you, you'll hopefully sail over them with ease. Later I'll post about pumping. I was a working mom, and I turned pumping into a science and so can you!