Saturday, August 2, 2008

Breastfeeding through the first year

Happy World Breastfeeding Week-- Day 2!
I started writing my nursing story in segments. The first few weeks were tough. I didn't think I would make it! Fortunately, I had some great support. My midwife, to this day, is who I credit with my success.  Once we got past that, we cruised through the first six months. I was willing and able to nurse anywhere, and I never was fond of a cover (nor was The Boy). Nursing was our reconnect.
The second six months (to his first birthday) was a bit rocky. There was nothing wrong with our nursing, but we traveled a lot, and I let some notions in to my head that told me I should have him sleeping through the night, without me.  That alone made the summer a struggle, but then I decided I would go back to work full-time, which meant The Boy and I would be staying in Oklahoma, while Kevin traveled for his job. He (The Boy that is) never really took the bottle and certainly not well, so I started pumping and working on trying to get him to take the bottle. It still wasn't going well, but Kevin left, so I started bringing The Boy to bed with me, which made both of our lives easier!
He started daycare and still was not fond of the bottle, so we tried a sippy, which failed. I was somewhat stressed, but I found out that he would make it up when we were together! We basically ended up reverse cycling. I switched his bottle, so he did start taking one some of the time at daycare. Adiri natural nursers are the only bottle that worked for us! Anyway, this is about nursing...
So, we reverse cycled. I would always nurse him immediately after I arrived at his daycare, and around October (The Boy is a December baby), I really started thinking about whether or not I wanted to wean him. However, the more I searched and researched, the more I realized that it would be better for him (and me) if we continued on, so I extended my "goal," and when people would ask, I would say "when he's ready." 
We did have a few speed bumps in the second six months. I was concerned about pumping enough, so I started drinking Mother's Milk tea and taking fenugreek and blessed thistle. It helped to keep my supply up. Also, The Boy sprouted a lot of teeth. Sometimes he would get lazy in his latch or pull away as he was nursing, which hurt like the dickens, but we worked hard together to correct his latch and persevere through the pain when he would pull away. There were a few biting episodes, but I always broke the latch and set him down. He never did that more than a couple of times though. He likes to nurse too much!
Every once in a while, someone would say something, but in the second six months, I learned to step back and ignore the criticism. I also found a LLL Toddler's group in Tulsa that really helped me to see what I was doing as being normal, rather than weird or freaky. Honestly, I love LLL primarily because you can find like-minded women, which helps to make AP and nursing seem normal.
Stay tuned for the next six months...

5 comments:

McCool said...

Glad to know you are still nursing and doing so great! I like your answer to, whenever he is ready. I definitely use that one all the time! B is almost a year and there is no way we are weaning anytime soon. We also reverse cycle, though I am trying to reduce it some so I can sleep more at night as I don't sleep well when he is nursing......

Good luck and keep it up!

Melissa said...

what a coincidence - i just sent you an email on this topic and i come to your blog and voila! great information. :)

bitsofmyself.com said...

hats off to you, mama! congrats on twelve months of nursing :) can't wait to hear how the next six go.

Ashleigh said...

Do you find that Amari nurses harder the older he gets? My baby is 14 months and he has a barracuda latch that just seems to be getting worse the bigger and stronger he gets!

Maria said...

ashleigh-- I didn't feel like he nursed harder, but we did go through a period where I had to be exceptionally aware of his positioning and latch. That happened around 15 months or so... and again at 18 months. The poor positioning was making nursing rather painful (ok, very painful) for me, but after a few days of watching the pain went away again.

Hugs and thank you for visiting my blog!

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