I knew even before having children that I wanted to breastfeed. Thankfully, I had people in my life that had done the same thing that I could get advice from like my mom and friends. My husband and I were so excited when we found out we were expecting.
We had been married 6 years already and weren’t sure if we were able to have children. Lukas was born Jan 19th, 2011. It was a surreal feeling! I had gone to a breastfeeding class before he was born and that same lactation specialist was at the hospital. She was a great help and encouragement and really helped me with latching Lukas on.
He had some problems at the beginning, but when we got home it went smoothly. I was so thankful to be able to stay home and focus on nursing and bonding. I didn’t really have to pump much. I did have a manual pump just in case, although that was a slow process! I do remember the toughest parts were those first 6-8 weeks, where it hurt every time my baby latched. After that, it felt more natural and I was getting the hang of it more and more. I did nurse out in public, but I used a nursing cover or went to a mommy room. The nice thing is that many stores and malls have those now. I’m so grateful that there is more breastfeeding awareness globally.
I did have 2 issues during the early stages of nursing. One was that I did bleed on one side. Thankfully, it didn’t last too long (I think only a few days). During that time, I would just pump on that side and nurse the other and continue with the cream. The other issue was that I had a lump on one side, which I thought was going to turn into mastitis.
I applied heat and pressure (while continuing to nurse), and it went away before turning into something worse. I called my lactation consultant often for questions that I had! I also went to a La Leche meeting when Lukas was 2 weeks old. It was informational and I met a great friend through it. We had babies close in age and it was such a support to have someone to talk and share with. This friend and I started meeting on a regular basis which was very encouraging.
Another thing that really helped was that my husband was very supportive. It was such a blessing to have a positive spouse. He understood the importance of nursing and even went with me to the prenatal breastfeeding class. He didn’t feel left out of the bonding with baby experience. He helped me in a lot of other ways like changing, bathing, and getting Lukas ready.
I did start off trying to do a schedule with Lukas. I’m not sure if it worked though, haha! After a couple months he slept longer at night, but then he started waking up again during the night at around 5 months. He was an early teether, so I’m not sure if it had to do with that. Being a new mom, you learn through experience although every child is different. Usually when he woke up, instinct was just to nurse. I was always worried that he might be hungry. After a year, we were able to get him to go through the night although there were still occasions that he woke up.
I was able to nurse Lukas until he was 2.5 years old. I never thought that I would nurse that long, but it just worked out that way. He was not ready to wean and I enjoyed that time with him. He did nurse less often the older he was. By the end he was usually just nursing morning and evenings. I ended up weaning him after we found out I was pregnant.
We are so thankful for this new blessing coming and I’m praying that the nursing experience will go just as well if not better with this one :).