M&V’s Breastfeeding Journey.
By V’s mom
Embracing breastfeeding was a part of my emotional start to the journey of motherhood. Please note those moms who were, are, or will be unable to breastfeed will still have the joys of their journey that should be shared as well. My journey and your journey as mothers will be different. Therefore, my short tale is only one of many to be considered as a small glimpse into the developing bond between mother and child.
There are three takeaways from my breastfeeding journey that I would like to share. First, breastfeeding is an intimately emotional experience between V and me. Regardless of location or time of day, she and I are in our own world in a moment of (most times, if she isn’t famished) calm. Second, breastfeeding saves money, but also provides V all the nutrients she needs to begin her journey in life. I find myself often amazed by her growth simply from my breastmilk. In 3 months, she gained almost 7 pounds since birth from drinking breastmilk. Third, breastfeeding further enhanced my connection with V. From the initial pain in the first few weeks as my body adjusted to providing her nourishment to the modifications of my diet. I didn’t realize how much my diet would have an immediate effect on her precious digestive system. It took two months to learn that V has a soy and dairy intolerance. After much research, I realized that there are soy and dairy in most of what I used to consume leading me to modify my diet to ensure she did not continue to have painful bowl movements and gas episodes.
As she and I continue our journey, I recommend those considering or still finding a happy emotional place breastfeeding, do two things. First, ensure you find joy in breastfeeding. If you look forward to this experience, so will your child. If you experience pain, find a routine or a schedule that allows your body to heal between feedings. For weeks two and three, postpartum, I gave V breastmilk from a bottle from wake-up to noon and from noon to bedtime I would breastfeed to allow my body to slowly adjust to the routine. By week four I was able to breastfeed anytime she was hungry. Second, I recommend that you pay close attention to how your little one reacts physically and emotionally to your breastmilk. Look closely at your baby’s poop to ensure that it is of the right consistency and color. Don’t ignore anything out of the norm as you may miss the chance to correct a deficiency in your diet that could be causing your child pain.
As I mentioned earlier, every mother’s journey is different. Mine involves a lot of time and effort researching and talking to other moms and pediatricians to ensure my little one gets the most of my breastmilk. And ensuring our time spent together during each feeding is a pleasant experience for both of us.