The Most Beautiful Experience
Portland ME USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 24 No. 6, November-December 2007, pp. 258-259
My son, Bruno, will be five months old tomorrow, and every time I look at him I am amazed by the miracle of life. One of the most incredible parts of this miracle is breastfeeding. I just can't believe all his energy and all the changes in his little body have been possible because of my own milk. I want to share my experience because I think all parents should consider breastfeeding.
My pregnancy was very healthy, in body and mind. My husband and I prepared to adjust our lives in many ways. One of our choices from the beginning was that our baby would be breastfed. One of our favorite sessions from a series of parenting classes was a breastfeeding session with a lactation consultant named Bettina.
My son was born two weeks after his due date, so his birth was induced. We had a beautiful labor but it was long and it ended in a cesarean. At the hospital, my baby had no problem taking colostrum, and everything seemed perfect for three days. But after we left the hospital, breastfeeding wasn't going as well. He was fussy for a whole night and started to show signs of dehydration. We didn't know what was going on because we were new parents, but after talking to Bettina, we found my milk wasn't coming in. It was a serious situation that needed to be solved. With Bettina's help, I started a routine of feeding my son very often, followed by pumping to stimulate my breasts. I also started taking an herbal supplement, and two weeks later I switched to a medication.
For a while we had to supplement Bruno's feeding with formula and donated milk. Most of my time and my energy went to breastfeeding. My milk supply was very low and it took at least three weeks to start seeing results from the frequent nursing and pumping. That was very disappointing because I wanted to see immediate results. Luckily, we had the help of Bettina, as well as support from Bruno's pediatrician, Kathryn. I think we really started to see results when I finally relaxed and became more confident in being able to feed Bruno exclusively with my milk.
My milk supply is regular now. I have returned to my full-time job and breastfeeding hasn't been a problem at all. I am able to pump at work and then, when I come home, I feed Bruno and we enjoy one of our favorite moments of the day. I have to be very careful because I know my milk supply could drop if I am stressed or if I don't feed Bruno regularly. I feel very good about myself because I am breastfeeding. It is one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. If you are hesitant about deciding to breastfeed, try at least a few days before saying no. It's worth any effort.