It sounds like I am going to be published! 😀 A lady is writing a book about breastfeeding and she wants my story! Below is what I sent to her. I am anxiously waiting for the book, which will come out this May some time! 🙂
Breastfeeding has been a part of my whole life. I’m the oldest of 7 kids, all of whom were breastfeed (most past 2 years old!). Plus all of my mom’s friends were super breastfeeding mothers; most of them had over 5 kids and never seemed to have any problems. I was exposed to many boobies and babies. Fast forward 25 years and I’m the mommy to be, and after watching my mom effortlessly nurse my 6 younger siblings I thought, “No big deal”. A few weeks before my first son was to be born a very nice woman from our church lent me two books on breastfeeding just. In the pages of those books I learned the truth: breastfeeding is not always easy, nor is it always a natural instinct between mommies and babies. I worried a bit, but again I wasn’t starting from scratch, I had my mom, right? Not that it occurred to me that she was 4,000 miles away since I had moved to Hawaii to be with my in-listed husband. But no worries, it can’t be that hard. My first son, James, was born at home and we didn’t have too much trouble at first. We had some latching on problems due to some inverted nipples, but my mid-wife guided me through that and we seemed to be home free. At a week and half my son started crying. Not a nice, gentle cry, that could be soothed and helped. But a cry that lasted all day, and sometimes at night. I was dumfounded on what to do. As the weeks went by slowly I got more info. My cousin over facebook told me that she gave up dairy products with one of her kids. My midwife also said it could be something I’m eating. My mom said google it. So I did. I came across a website that gave detailed instructions on how to eliminate dairy from your diet. 10 long days later my son stopped the painful crying. Oh believe me, he still cried, but not that painful sad crying he did before. Before I gave up dairy he couldn’t be soothed with breastfeeding, only eating as much as he could handle and then quitting. Slowly he started eating more at each meal. Giving up dairy was totally worth it. I was dairy-free for 5 months, and partly-dairy free for another 6 months. We developed a great bond breastfeeding once the dairy was gone, and I was sad when he weaned himself at 15 months.
Fast forward again 19 months from my first born to my second son. This time, I thought, will be no problem. Surely I wouldn’t have to give up any food this time around. I mean, come on, my mom nursed 7 kids and never gave up anything! So Gideon was also born at home although with a different mid wife since my hubby had left the Marine Corps and we had moved back to our home state. Nursing started out great, we had the first week of pain while the nipples toughen up, but it truly wasn’t that bad. Then at a month old I started having pain again. I’ll just wait it out, I thought. It’s probably from nursing at night or something. After about a week it got worse and worse, one of my nipples was cracked in 5 different places and every time my son latched on it would reopen those cracks. I was bright red on both sides, which I thought was weird but just kept with it. Finally I broke down; the pain was just too great. I told my husband I was ready to quite, I told my mom I was ready to quite. I. had. had. enough. I would sit crying holding my poor son (also crying) while I got up the nerve to latch him on. “Okay sweetie! Ready?? Mommy isn’t ready. Okay, ready? One, two, three! AWWWWWWW.” For some reason, yelling out loud really helped me, although this can be greatly disturbing to your little tyke. 🙂 So through my tears my mom tells me that it’s weird that I am having pain again. “Maybe something’s wrong,” she says “Have you googled anything? Maybe you have thrush”. Hummm, well okay. So I start googling again and thrush keeps coming up. So off we, my mom, me, my sister, and baby go, to the nursing consultant at the local hospital to see what she says. Turns out my mom was right, something was wrong and it was thrush. Thrush is not fun, but you can beat it if you try hard enough. My son and I battled it for two months but finally got rid of it. Many thanks to all the home remides that people have put in their blogs and other places on the internet, couldn’t have done it without you. To make matters worse, Gideon also started a nightly crying of about 4 or 5 hours every evening. He did similar things as his older brother, pulling his legs up, lots of gas, and a very distressed look on his face. So I gave up dairy. After 3 weeks and there was no change, I was so discouraged. I remembered all the research I did with James and sadly the next food to give up is wheat. I didn’t want to do that at all. “It’s not fair,” I whined to my mom. “I hate breastfeeding.” So guess what? I gave up wheat, and it made the biggest difference! All the crying stopped, and I had a happy baby again.
The online breastfeeding support I have gotten has been invaluable. I was clueless on how to eliminate all these foods from my diet. The blogs and websites other moms have taken time to write and organize is such a great source of info. My second son is 9 months now and I love breastfeeding. It’s a great bonding experience and one that I would miss greatly if I had quit. So are you having problems? Do you want to quite? Been there, done that. My advice is skip the medical and doctor websites and read the mom blogs, and websites made by moms and mid-wives. You can have a GREAT breastfeeding experience if you really want it. Don’t give up, mommy!
By far the best website for milk allergy/sensitivities:
http://kellymom.com/ ; http://www.mothering.com/community/t/941918/wheat-allergies-breastfeeding ; http://www.loveyourbaby.com/foods-to-avoid-while-breastfeeding.html ;
And for Thrush:
~The Breastfeeding Book by Martha Sears, R.N. and William Sears, M.D.
~The New Bestfeeding: Getting breastfeeding right for you By Mary Renfrew, Chloe Fisher, and Suzanne Arms.