My Parenting Style: Breastfeeding

I always wondered what type of Mom I would be, and I still wonder as Turner grows more and more every day.

We all know there are hundreds of parenting styles, and all of us moms have different ways of raising our children.  I find it helpful to hear stories from other moms about what they've tried and how it did/did not work for them. I haven't had to face tough parenting issues yet, such as how I will discipline Turner in public, but I know that up to this point I've been pretty laid back.  I hear you're the most uptight with the first, so I'm kind of afraid for my 3rd (there will only be two if Alex has a say).  Don't get me wrong, I still freak out when Turner gets close to stairs or tries to eat a whole grape, but I feel I'm pretty easy going for the most part.  I thought I would start a short series on my parenting style including; diapers, breastfeeding, school, work, food, sleep, etc.

First up...Breastfeeding.

When I hear the word I cringe.  My experience with breastfeeding was extremely difficult.  When Turner was born I was adamant I would breast feed as long as I could, or at least until I went back to work. For the first week, I breast fed laying on my side due to my healing process.   Just like many other moms experience, the first two weeks were very painful.  Everyone kept telling me the pain would lessen over time, but it didn't.  I met with a lactation consultation two days after Turner was born to make sure he was latching right, which he did a good job of.  But something was just not right.  I got mastitis not once but twice in one month, and if you know what it feels like you know it was horrible.  Fever, chills, lack of energy (which you're already low on to begin with), rash, itchy skin, and above all else you're supposed to continue nursing to work through the infection.  I worked through it gritting my teeth and quietly whispering a few swear words as Turner nursed.

Let's throw in to the mix a very gassy and fussy baby.  I mean crying all the time for no reason.  I blamed my diet, so I tried to lay off the dairy.  That lasted a few days.  It was too stressful to track every little thing I ate, and Turner seemed to be acting the same either way.

Finally, after 5 weeks of trying my best, Alex noticed my pain and struggle and offered to buy some formula.  I think he was tired of Turner's gas issues as well, and would try anything to get him to stop crying.  We supplemented formula with pumped breast milk. After the second or third day of pumping every few hours, I decided to quit.  I was done with the stress and the struggle.  Turner seemed to be doing a bit better on formula, and I finally felt free from pain.  I was very apprehensive to stop, and I immediately missed the connection Turner and I had in those quiet moments we spent together.  But, in the end I feel I made the best decision for Turner and I.

I plan on breastfeeding as long as possible with my future babies, and I hope my body cuts me a little slack the next time around.

Moms out there...how was your experience with breastfeeding? Any tips?!


Kristance and Matthew said...

I was able to nurse my first two babes without much issue (although my oldest was 7 weeks premature--lots of pumping there), but with my third it was horrendous. He cluster fed around the clock to the point that I was cracked and bleeding...constantly. I had to grit my teeth and fight back tears every time he latched on (and yeah--I uttered some swear words) I stopped after Jackson vomited bloody breast milk up all over our table at MOPS. We did what worked for us, I'm glad to hear you did too!

Lovely blog, stopping over from Kim's

Carrie said...

Oh, breastfeeding. With Molly, I only survived a few weeks. I remember busting out one of those pre-mixed formula samples at 2:00am and feeling like the biggest failure ever. But guess what? She was a happy healthy baby that is pretty dang smart too. :) With Thomas, I was DETERMINED. I just wanted those sweet moments, and um, breast milk is free. It was just as difficult, maybe worse. I bled and dropped the f-bomb every single time he latched on for about six weeks. I got mastitis twice, and thrush. Which is a tiny bit of hell. BUT I just kept on keeping on, and eventually it got better! And then it got easy! I ended up breastfeeding him for 14 months. Recently, when filling out an application, I listed it as my biggest accomplishment. :) Best of luck with your next one!

Jesse Coulter said...

Kristance, ouch! Thanks for the comment, I feel your pain : )

Jesse Coulter said...

Thanks Carrie! 14 months is a big accomplishment!

P.S. - Good luck w/the newest little addition to your family. So sweet : )