Breastfeeding my son was the best decision I ever made as a mother. It is so much more than I method of sustenance. It is a cure-all, boo boos, overtired, teething. It actually took me arguing with three doctors for one of them to find Chicken’s broken leg after our fall from a deck. They all were telling me, he’s sleeping and nursing so he must be fine. We were both sick this weekend and all we did was snuggle and breastfeed for 48 hours. I can soothe my baby in minutes just nursing. But it did not come easy.
I admit I was under prepared. I figured it was natural and would therefore come naturally. And minutes after birth chicken what nursing like a pro. That was of course until they whisked him to NICU for a fever (which miraculously disappeared by the time he got there…) After that he would latch but fall asleep almost instantaneously. Is there such a thing as being too relaxed? Nurses were freaking out. “He’s having dry diapers” they would say. Even the doctors would goad me “Just give him a little formula, he won’t know the difference.” I felt like I was starving him. But he looked so content. I pumped and pumped, frustrated my milk was taking so long to come in. “He’s lost half a pound…are you sure you won’t supplement??” That’s when I gave in and gave him a little formula. The doctors and nurses knew best right??
For the first 2 weeks I would put him at the breast, struggle for 15 minutes, go pump what I could then give it to him in a bottle. I supplemented with formula but after my milk came in I had to less and less. Slowly he took more from the breast and came to prefer it. So much in fact that he started nursing every hour. Now I was ridiculed again, “you’re over feeding him! He’s spitting it all up” “He’s using you like a pacifier!” I tried other ways of soothing him but he would just scream. I asked the doctor and she diagnosed him with reflux and colic. She prescribed zantac but said he might be allergic to my milk. All of this just didn’t settle with me, that’s when I found La Leche League.
Can I just say, these women are angels! I would not be as comfortable with breastfeeding without them. They informed me that a breastfed baby can’t over eat so to nurse him when he cries. My son had colic for exactly one day, the day before I met my local LLL leader. They recognized my oversupply (most likely from pumping every hour…) and diet was the cause of Chicken’s reflux. A few days of laid back nursing and cutting dairy and gluten and his “reflux” was cured too, without drugs. Any mother struggling with breastfeeding, I urge you to find your local leader, or tell me and I will find them for you!! They are an amazing resource. So I am thankful for LLL, for without them I would not have the bond I do with my Thing 2.