(: I didn’t make you wait too long, for the ones who are actually reading this. Here you go!
ok, we finally are home. Isabela eats every hour on the dot. Sometimes more. In the first couple of weeks, every feeding takes about 20-30 minutes. The first 2 weeks were so incredibly hard. Infants are demanding, I tell you!!!
I felt so isolated from everyone, always having to go upstairs to nurse her (since we had guests all the time). Since she started having trouble latching, my nipples were really suffering. Nursing every hour gave me blisters, and I even started to bleed several times. It was soooo rough, and I remember having one moment where I just really wanted to quit!! I remember telling my mother in law, that things were a little rough and I didn’t know if I could make it. I felt so alone…and I was in pain.
But all I could think about was how important breastfeeding was to me and for her. I thought about how my labor and delivery was the complete opposite of what I hoped for. I thought about the stories other women told me of how much they loved breastfeeding. How, eventually, their little ones would gaze into their eyes and stroke their faces while they would eat. I thought about all the immunities I would be giving Isabela. And I thought about what would happen if I switched to formula. I knew that infants weren’t born able to digest cow’s milk well and that a lot of infants were allergic to cows milk. I knew she would most likely have reflux if I switched. (haha. She got it anyway, but thats another story) I knew if I switched to formula, that Isabela’s tummy would hurt soooo bad from the milk change.
So, I kept on. And I AM SO HAPPY. I absolutely LOVE breastfeeding my little one. OOOOHHHH, WE have had some HARD times. I will elaborate more on that on my next blog. But yes, we have been through some very tough nursing times.
My self confidence was laying on the floor, beaten up, jumped on, kicked , and broken to pieces. I had blistery, bloody nipples, and would cry sometimes when feeding her. When Isabela began to have reflux, she would scream all throughout her feedings. She would unlatch, cry, scream, and arch her back. After every feeding, she would cry her eyes out. She was projectile vomiting, and breastmilk seemed to be the culprit. I was so discouraged. I felt like everything was my fault. To make a long story short, we finally figured out she had infant acid reflux. I eliminated dairy, soy, wheat and nuts from my diet, Isabela was put on Prevacid,and together it made a world of difference!! But those first 10 weeks were horrible, discouraging, and heart breaking. But we MADE it. Yes, we made it, and my baby is thriving!
( why didn’t I just switch to formula when I began to suspect allergens were passing through my breast milk to Isabela and causing reflux. Because, if I switched to formula, her reflux would have been even more severe. That’s right. Reflux babies usually have reflux in the first place because they are formula fed and their tummies have a hard time digesting the cow’s milk enzymes and even the soy in the formula alternatives. When a formula fed baby has severe reflux, doctors generally recommend that the mother breastfeeds them as much as possible. Unfortunately, Isa’s reflux was caused by a sensitivity to the dairy, wheat, soy, and nuts. So, even if I switched to formula, Isa would have still had the reflux, only much, much worse. Sure, the nursing problems would have disappeared, but my poor tiny would have been much more miserable and in even more pain then before!)
SO, HERE IS MY INSPIRATION FOR THIS BLOG…..YAY!!! I have exclusively nursed Isabela for 6 months on 22 Oct. And I plan to do it at least a year. (the American Pediatrics Assc recommends 2 years, so we will see how old she is when she self-weans). I am SOOOO proud of myself for getting through not just the initial hardships of nursing, but the reflux hardships. Having an allergy free diet was VERY challenging. VERY. I could have just as easily and selfishly given up. Especially when it came down making the decisions to restrict my diet. Which was HARD, but eventually became easier.
AND…Isabela has not had one bit of formula, nada! She is a great eater (: And, I have sacrificed soooo much, just to give my little one the very best.
Now, when she eats, she’ll pop off sometimes to give me a big grin or laugh. She reaches for my face and gazes into my eyes. Since she is so easily distracted now, she will grab my shirt or necklace and give it an intense look of concentration. I love being able to hear her eat and know that she is getting the best nutrition that exists for her. I am so happy and thankful that I was able to nurse my little tiny and champion through all the hardships that came our way.
So, this is my blog on breastfeeding. It was essential that I wrote on this, because it is now a very important issue for me. I believe every woman should at least try to breastfeed. And, I believe that even if you know you will switch to formula, that you should at least breast feed during the first 3 days, when colostrum is present.
Colostrum is the first milk that is present, right after birth. Once your baby is born, it is present in small amounts for the first three days to match the small size of babies stomach. Women should breastfeed at least 8 to 12 times per 24 hours so that baby receives this valuable milk. Colostrum high in protein and low in fat and sugar. The protein content is three times higher than mature milk, because it is rich in the antibodies being passed from the mother. These antibodies protect your baby and act as a natural laxative, helping your baby pass the first stool called meconium. At least give your baby the first 3 days…and then see what happens after. I know many women who simply cannot breastfeed, and I’m not judging them or anyone. All I’m saying is that breast really is best, (:
Soooo, soon to follow are these topics: Infant acid reflux or GER, pumping and nursing in public, cloth diapering, and attachment parenting.