World Breastfeeding Week: My Story

 In my mind there was never really a question on whether or not I would breastfeed. From my doula work I knew about all the health benefits of breastmilk and how great it was for bonding. My goal was to breastfeed for the first year. BUT, to be completely honest I wasn't sure if I would actually enjoy it. I was worried that I wouldn't like it at all.

Then my son was born and as he lay on my chest I remember feeling this overwhelming instinct that he was hungry. I think I even said out loud, to no one in particular, "I think he's hungry. I'm going to feed him." I put him to my breast and he immediately latched. In that moment I was so proud of him. He knew exactly what to do. In the following days I started to look forward to nursing him. It was our special time together...it felt like we had our own little secret.

Five days after he was born I ended up with mastitis. I knew the signs/symptoms and immediately called Robin Kaplan (San Diego Breastfeeding Center). I was able to kick it pretty quickly with herbal tinctures, boob baths, hot showers, sunflower lecithin and cabbage leaves. The day after the mastitis cleared we found out that Brixton has a tongue and lip tie. I felt this heavy weight land on my chest. It felt too soon to have to make such a huge parenting decision. We consulted with a few pediatric dentists, who all recommended we revise it, but something in my gut told me not to do it. After much deliberating, my husband and I decided not to revise the ties. Brixton continued to gain weight and I didn't have pain or discomfort with feedings. I did have my days where I cried from the exhaustion of always feeding and then a slew of milk blebs around 9 months. There were times when I wondered why I was still breastfeeding, other times when I was so proud of what my body was accomplishing.

As we approached his 1st birthday we were still breastfeeding...a lot! I started pushing my weaning date out. When he's 14 months I'll wean, when he's 15 months, definitely by the time he's 18 months. He's now 19 months old with no signs of stopping. I no longer have a desire to put a time frame on it, we'll just know when it's time to finish, just like we knew how to start when he was born. We'll make the decision together.