So you now have this amazing little person that you and your partner have created.  You are so in love, and now you have to feed this little person who is relying on you for everything and neither of you know what the heck you are doing!

In 2007, I had a breast reduction.  I wasn’t insanely huge or anything but I was large for my smaller frame and my back hurt and I received a lot of unwanted attention.  When I got pregnant I made sure to inform my plastic surgeon that at some point I would like to breastfeed.  Thankfully he did what he could to help it so I could, and there was still a chance I couldn’t.

I was determined to breastfeed.

The first night I was so hard.  First, I was exhausted from my 16 hour labour and 1 hour and half of pushing.  Naturally I fell asleep and didn’t wake up till the nurse came in to check on us which was 5 hours later.  She gave me crap for not feeding the baby every 3 hours.  I didn’t know I was suppose to.  No one told me this!

I woke my sleeping newborn and tried to get her to latch.  First, I wasn’t sure if she was latched properly because it hurt.  Second, no one really showed me bar the nurse who was there for the delivery and she just put my nipple in her mouth and didn’t really instruct me.

img_5226The very first night nursing Michaela.

Now, I know if I had the baby in Canada or Ireland there would have been a consultant to make sure all was well.  But this was Jamaica so I found one and called her.  She luckily came to the hospital the next day.  She helped me.

The next month was a serious struggle.  I had cracked and bleeding nipples.  Severe pain. Creams and Lanolin to help the pain. A baby that vomited blood.  Hating my breast pump.  Walking around topless for 3 days squirting milk all over the place. And lots and lots of tears.  I really understood why women don’t ever try to breastfeed and how many quit.  I am glad that my Mom helped me through it as she breastfed me and my sister.  I also joined some Facebook support groups that really helped, like Caribbean Breastfeeding Support, and Kelly Mom.

Plus I was amazed at how quickly I lost the baby weight due to breastfeeding.  I literally went back to my pre-baby weight 2 weeks later.  But then put on 10 pounds that I cannot lose.  But I don’t mind.

img_5165The day before I gave birth.

img_53933 days after, 1 week and 2 weeks.

I pushed through all the pain and I am so very glad I did. My first breastfeeding goal was 6 months and now that she is almost 14 and down to nursing only as soon as she wakes makes me proud I surpassed my goals.

The only place I felt odd for breastfeeding was in Ireland.  No one in Liam’s family breastfed their babies.  It’s not that I didn’t feel supported out there as they didn’t care if I did or didn’t nurse.  But a few times they said that they didn’t think she was getting enough because she nurse every 2-3 hours and that seemed too much.  I explained that breastmilk has more calories but it goes through their systems faster and thats why they feed so often.  They didn’t really say anything after.  I just got a few questions from the little ones.

img_0017Nursing at 7 months.

I’m so glad I chose to breastfeed and that I was able to.  I know women who are in the breastfeeding club sometimes shame those that aren’t.  I don’t do that.  I know how it is a struggle and sometimes it doesn’t work out.  Either way I know when I was struggling how I felt like a failure and Mom’s put so much pressure on one another.  I definitely agree that a fed baby is a happy baby.  Doesn’t matter how as long as it’s fed.