I am a nursing mother myself. By no means am I a "crunchy granola earth mother." I am a typical 34 year old urbanite, who wanted to give her son the very best start at life possible. Breastfeeding was not easy for me in the beginning. I struggled to keep my milk supply up. In fact on a few occasions I pumped every 2 hours for 24 hours straight to increase my milk supply up. I struggled with finding the right position to nurse my son, I struggled with the soreness and shredded nipples from poor latching. Again, nursing my son was not as all easy at first. However, as the weeks went on, and my son and I got the hang of of it, breastfeeding became much easier, in fact it become automatic. Natural.
My son, Oliver, is now 6 months and one week old and has been exclusively breastfed his entire life. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of myself for being able to say that.
Mom to mom...
Please try to breastfeed your baby. It is the most wonderful, gratifying experience. I'll be honest, I hated breastfeeding at first. Some days I thought it was gross and just too much damn work, and trouble. Formula seemed like a much easier solution. Plus, I was raised on formula and I am a healthy, normal (for the most part) person. But, I stuck with it. I was up feeding my son every 2-3 hours for the first 16 weeks of his life, then finally he started sleeping longer stretches. I also would pump a bottle for dad to do a late night feeding when I desperately needed more than 2 hours of sleep.
At six months old,Oliver is healthy, happy, strong and in the 95 percentile for height and weight. He has not had any issues with sickness at all, no colds, ear infections, allergies, nothing! I am so blessed for this, but I have a feeling that the nursing has a lot to do with it. Babies the same age as Oliver, who were not breastfed, have had all kinds of issues like ear infections, allergies, sleeping problems. I am so thankful that I do not have to wonder, if I didn't power through the breastfeeding struggles would my baby be healthy? My baby is healthy.
Please, try to nurse your baby. Please. It is seriously the most rewarding, self gratifying experience I have had as a mother so far. Again, it is not always easy, and yes it is gross and painful at times, and being the main source of food for your baby makes it hard to find more than a few hours to yourself. However, Please keep in mind that nursing is only necessary for a very short time of your baby's life. Before you know it that 6 months, or even better 12 months, will be over and he will be walking away from you holding his bottle.
Please, give breastfeeding a valid chance. I promise it will be the most wonderful and rewarding thing you can do for your baby's first days, weeks, months of life. I can tell you for sure, you WILL NOT regret it. And I promise you this, if you do not at least try to breastfeed your baby, you WILL regret it.