Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding!!! Oh the joy of Breastfeeding! As many of us have heard and know to be true, “Breast is best.”
Is it the best milk for your baby? Si.
Is it easy for everyone? NO!
But first let’s touch base on the basics. Not only does breastfeeding assist mamis in building a stronger bond between the mami y el bebe, it also benefits the baby in other ways such as fighting and preventing the risk of many illnesses and diseases. Our breast milk produces antibodies for our bebe which allows them to develop a strong immune system. Es incredible what our bodies can do!
However, breastfeeding can be rather unpleasant and stressful to some mamis. In my case, I experienced this discomfort and pain first hand with my first born. Throughout my entire pregnancy I was determined to breastfeed my little one until he turned 1. So when he was born, I was ready and mentally willing to take on this new adventure. Beforehand, I had been pre-warned about the difficulties in getting your bebe to latch on so I was prepared at least I thought!
It took about un mes for him to latch on correctly. During this process, I developed sore, cracked and bleeding nipples. Yes, this may be TMI but it REALLY happens. It was painful! For some reason, my little one just would not latch on properly. In addition, I was experiencing a low supply of leche. Due to this, I was forced to supplement (give formula) at times and pump after every feeding. It seemed like my daily routine for the first month was breastfeed, pump, breastfeed, pump, breastfeed, pump, on constant repeat.
After we resolved the issue of latching, we then faced a new one. Since I was trying to increase my leche supply while also trying to make sure my baby had enough milk, I needed to supplement every now and then. Still, I always made sure he was breastfed as much as possible. The problem was that my bebe would just stop sucking after the let-down: after he had emptied the boob. He would cry and pull away (very hard) from the breast because he no longer had a constant flow and he was not going to work for it. Then in the following meal since my breast was not full he wouldn’t even try. I even tried using a nipple shield that stimulates the baby to keep sucking but no success. From then on it was just a constant battle with him so I switched to just pumping, which then brought me back to not producing enough leche.
Honestly, I tried all ways to make sure that my son would be breastfed but I was TIRED! Estaba agotada. Then after talking to our son’s pediatrician, we decided to switch to soymilk because of the acid reflux (GERD), which I mentioned in my previous post. As a result of the acid reflux, the transition from breastfeeding to formula became much easier. Certain babies have an allergic reaction to a protein found in cow’s milk so when ingested it can trigger their acid reflux. Thankfully switching to soymilk helped him… but it also helped me in a way as well. I was battling postpartum depression and the difficulties of breastfeeding was definitely playing a huge role in it. I attempted to alter my diet but nothing was really working.
FYI, there are other ways you can continue breastfeeding if you’re bebe has GERD, such as changing your diet, cutting out all dairies, and also medicine.
All in all, always do what you believe is best for your bebe. Breast is best but so is a healthy mami. I know a few who feel guilty they stopped or who couldn’t even start breastfeeding. But mamis, your health is also very important. Just try it and if it doesn’t go how you planned then you decide what’s best for you and your child. I am very pro-breastfeeding but sometimes it simply doesn’t go as planned. I respect every mami’s choice when it comes to breastfeeding and formula, as long as your bebe is receiving the necessary nutrients eso es todo lo que importa.
So there you have it, my honest and raw experience. Mamis me encantaria escuchar your stories! Please feel free to share with me your experiences.
For breastfeeding tips and information you can always contact a lactation consultant. You can also visit La Leche League http://www.llli.org/. They have really great tips for all breastfeeding issues.