For me, breastfeeding was not a lifestyle choice, it was a choice for my baby’s health. I had actually made the decision to breastfeed even before I got pregnant with my first baby. I promised myself that one day I would breastfeed all my children. When I got pregnant, I took it one step at a time. I enthusiastically read all the chapters of my pregnancy and baby care books and felt prepared to breastfeed my baby.
Not as easy as I thought On February18, 2008, my eight pound and 2 ounce precious baby girl was born. I was so excited for her to be roomed in so I could start breastfeeding and cuddling her in my arms. I thought it would be really easy because I had prepared so much. But I was wrong. I had a tough time breastfeeding even before we left the hospital. The first three days were very painful. My episiotomy hurt and made it extremely uncomfortable to move around, turn around, walk around… really, anything that involved moving the lower half of my body. My breasts hurt. They would get engorged early in the morning, my nipples got cracked and sore, making it very painful every time my baby suckled on my breasts. I was literally crying for two weeks.
Priceless joy Once she and I established a routine, which took around three weeks, it was wonderful. I started to feel a priceless joy and intimate bond with her. I loved the feeling that when I was feeding her, she was completely mine. I got to know my baby better as I would watch her feeding. I would play with her hands and feet and generally just watch my adorable baby. It was very satisfying to know that my body was doing something very special. After carrying her for nine months, I felt empty inside and I found breastfeeding helped me naturally move into motherhood.
A dance you learn one step at a time Breastfeeding can be hard in the beginning. It's like an intimate dance that both mom and baby do together. At first you have two left feet and step on each other's toes and before you know it, with practice, you are doing the tango! Know that you are doing the best you can no matter what the outcome may be. You are not a failure if you tried! Just remember, your baby has never done this before and neither have you, so take it one feeding at a time and enjoy learning about the process and falling in love with your baby!