When I was pregnant, early, early pregnant, I struggled with the decision to breastfeed or not to breastfeed. It was a matter of convenience- I would be (probably) returning to school weeks later and not necessarily taking my baby to a lecture hall full of college kids who probably carry more germs than young children. Reasons I chose to breastfeed:
- working moms do it- they use a breast pump if they have to to express their milk and then the care taker can feed the child.
- Formula is expensive. It can cost up to thousands a year to feed off of formula. Not exactly ideal for a single teen mom.
- Peer pressure: I hate that it’s one of my reasons, but I looked into it more because my friends were upset I considered formula- even though I know it’s a matter of whats best for me and my baby.
- Benefits outweighed the risks- by far. The only risks I can really think of are thrush, blocked ducts and mastitis- which can all be prevented.
- weight loss- I mean hello!!!! 500 calories a day? Let’s be real. I sat on my butt and held a baby all day and lost 30 pounds in a week. (thats the delivery, sitting in a hospital, coming home, and feeding) I’m currently sitting in my pre pregnancy jeans. And they do in fact button. Nursing gets contractions going so your uterus returns to its original size a lot faster! (but keep advil handy…get ready for the worst “period” of your life.)
So I went with breastfeeding. It’s been great. However, the new mom in me (you know, the one who is spazzy and freaks out and worries about everything?) was worried he wasn’t latching properly, or getting enough milk, or he was spitting up too much. Then there’s the pooping-is he pooping enough? What about wet diapers? is he having the right amount?
Our first visit to the Pediatrician was perfection. He left the hospital 6 lbs. and 12 oz. That Friday at the doc’s office he was 6 lb and 14 oz. We were told he was perfect- like we didn’t know that already! However, I was still worried he wasn’t eating enough. He would nurse for about 10 minutes on one side and then pass out for 2-4 hours (good luck waking him up…) or deman another feeding an hour later (select this option in the middle of the night).
Exhibit A: Under the nursing cover and he’s immediately in a food coma.
The doctor suggested coming in one week later for a weight check if we were still concerned, and I wasn’t going to pass that up! So we went this week. Results?
9 oz. in one week!!! He is now 7 lbs and 7 oz, and apparently breastfeeding is suiting us well. Whatever I’m doing, it’s working. I have a growing boy who is perfectly happy and healthy and I couldn’t be more pleased!! Now I just have to worry about when he has a growth spurt and wants to eat every 30 minutes.
What’s your story? Have any tips for a first time breastfeeding mom?