Breastfeeding is hard, really REALLY hard. And no one tells you this…
When I was pregnant I was determined to exclusively breastfeed our twins. I read all the books and prepped myself the best I knew how. I had a vision of how easy and beautiful breastfeeding would be and it didn’t play out that way.
The babes were born 5 weeks early and breastfeeding in the 1st month was a difficult struggle. We ended up having to supplement with formula when they were 2 days old and for me and my hard-headed Type A self, that was a tough pill to swallow.
To bring my milk in and get my supply up, I pumped and pumped and then pumped some more and finally made enough for our babes… and then I made too much and ended up with an oversupply issue. I had to pump after every feed to prevent mastitis and other over supply issues.
I know I know, some of you are thinking “and this is a problem?” But yes it was. It turned breastfeeding into a negative thing for me. I was always engorged, always feeding or pumping, and never quite getting relief… my life revolved around boobs and I loathed it.
There were several times that I thought I just couldn’t continue so I started setting little milestones for myself… “I’ll breastfeed them until 4 months when I go back to work” “Okay, make it to 6 months when they start solids” and much to my surprise we’ve passed all these milestones and are still going strong. Our next milestone is 10 months!
We are FINALLY on a fabulous breastfeeding schedule that works for all of us and I have my oversupply under control. I’ve grown to love breastfeeding and sometimes even let Easton sneak in a snack before I leave for work (Everly is never hungry to do this).
COMING FULL CIRCLE
Today I met someone who was diagnosed with cancer 12 weeks postpartum. As quick as she mastered breastfeeding, she was told she could no longer continue due to her treatments. She breastfed her older child and was devastated that she wouldn’t be able to do the same with this child.
Her youngest daughter is now 10 months old and has been breastfed since day one. But not always by her. You see, she uses donor milk to sustain her desire to breastfeed.
This made me feel purposeful. You know that old cliche, “everything happens for a reason”? I believe this was my reason for having an oversupply and something that seemed so negative turned out to be incredibly fulfilling. I was able to donate around 200 oz (and more to come) to this family and now this mama, too, can reach her goal of breastfeeding for a full year!
Spread the love mamas, or the milk!
If you are looking for ways to donate milk or need to obtain milk, check out Mothersmilk.org to find a donation site near you. Also check out Human Milk 4 Human Babies for a less formal way to donate and receive milk.
This is my personal story with breastfeeding and I know there are some AMAZING mama’s out there who choose (or CAN’T) not to breastfeed and there is NOTHING wrong with that, NOTHING at all because it’s hard, REALLY hard! and time consuming and sometimes awkward and emotional… you get the picture. With that said, I, in no way intend to offend anyone by discussing this sensitive topic, I simply want to help shed light on breastfeeding and milk donation! Enjoy!