Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pushing Through the What Ifs.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I felt this constant push towards failure when it came to my desire to breastfeed.

In my head, society wanted me to fail. Friends, family, and even strangers would ask if I planned to breastfeed and my then glowingly haggard face would smile as I said, "Of course! I want the best for my little girl!" I was met with these sorts of replies:

"Oh, well, my so-and-so couldn't because her breasts were too small."

"My friend's mom's sister couldn't because her milk never came in."

"I couldn't because it hurt too much."

"That's just not what mothers did when I had my kids."

"You'll leave the room when you're around others, right?"

"Won't that be inconvenient?"

And so on.

So the idea of what was best for my Lily became a big "what if?"

Photo By Marah Grant Photography

I quickly realized the thing I needed most in my push to breastfeed was support. I had many conversations with my husband about my desire to breastfeed and he stood behind me 100%. He even took it upon himself to research and learn about breastfeeding so he could help me in any way possible. (What a man!) 

In the hospital, I found out that I would need to use a shield to help Lily latch. I had completely flat nipples and her tiny mouth had nothing to latch onto. It was definitely a bump in the road but it was worth it. I just continued to tell myself that nursing with a shield was still nursing and my daughter was still getting the best!

I used my lactation consultant (Hi Sharie!!). She was so helpful to me and even put up with my constant calls and texts the first few weeks when I was so sure I was doing everything wrong. 

I also used my friends. I was so blessed to have a few really close friends that had breastfed their children for at least a year and they were so helpful to me! 

In the almost 9 months since my daughter was born I have come up with this list of advice for new moms that want to breastfeed their babies:

* Gather support from friends and family.
* Use your lactation consultant. A LOT. 
* Be stubborn. 
* Be patient. It will get better!!

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