My Experience Breastfeeding My Two Sons
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed, even before getting pregnant with my first son. It was an easy decision for me because I knew breastfeeding would mean my children were going to benefit from the extra bonding time with me and vice versa and because of the health benefits for both mother and baby. And of course because breastfeeding is also cost and time saving.
I started breastfeeding immediately after my first son was born three and a half years ago. My son was born in the water after a 14-hour long labour, we were both exhausted but he latched on right away and started breastfeeding from day one.
We exclusively breastfed for about 4-5 weeks until I experienced what I thought was a decrease of milk supply, I suffered from over-supply and forceful let-down since my milk came and when my body stopped producing so much extra milk around 6 weeks postpartum I worried that I was not feeling as engorged all the time and my breast were feeling “empty”. We then started supplementing with one bottle of formula a day.
Knowing what I know now I would have never supplemented but I was a first time mom and I didn’t know what breastfeeding felt like without an over-supply. I am glad that I did visit a lactation consultant back then and she confirmed that we didn’t need to supplement. After that I continued breasfeeding him exclusively until he weaned on his own at almost 1 years old.
Introducing the bottle to my first son was easy, but finding the right bottle for him was not. He had no problem drinking from the bottle but he had very painful gas and we had to burp him for hours after a feed. I remember trying many different brands and struggling with gas and colic for months.
With my second son born 12 weeks ago I started breastfeeding right after birth as well. We had a beautiful and short home birth and he was very alert and awake right away. He latched on seconds after being born and he has been breastfeeding since. I experienced the same over-supply and forceful let-down I had with my first son but this time I knew what to expect after my milk levels settled.
The forceful let-down has been difficult for my little one because he can only nurse in a side laying down position. I have spoken to a few different lactation consultants and there is nothing I can do about that other than continue with the positions that work for us and wait for him to get a bit older so he is able to handle my let-down. Very hard when going out in public since it’s difficult to find a bed/couch to nurse him, so I pump when we go out.
I started pumping and introduced the bottle at around 6 weeks and I am happy to say that my baby can drink expressed breastmilk from a bottle sometimes and continue breastfeeding without an issue. This time I tried Playtex VentAir bottles as they are supposed to deliver an experience close to how it feels when baby breastfeeds and help reduce gas. So far he seems pretty content when drinking from the bottle and he experiences no extra gas issues after bottle feeding.
Right now I am happy to be able to breastfeed my second little one and that I haven’t had to supplement with formula. He is a healthy “little” guy who weighted 15lbs at his 12 week checkup. We are co-sleeping and I am up breastfeeding 2- 3 times each night. It is definitively hard work but so worth it in the long run!
Do you breastfeed, are you planning on breastfeeding your children?
Disclosure: I am part of the Mom Trust Program with Playtex and receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group; however all opinions expressed are entirely my own.