>The whole month of August is dedicated to breastfeeding. I would like to share my story with you.
I knew I wanted to breastfeed when I found out I was pregnant. I prepared myself, but I think we could have gone longer if I had a better support system.
Of course I had my friends and my midwife, and family. I know your thinking “you had a lot!” And I did, but I was also surrounded by a lot of formula feeding. I think had I prepared myself better, I would’ve been confident in my decision to not introduce formula at all. I read What to Expect When Your Expecting. I don’t recommend that book at all. I do recommend The Baby Book
by the Sears Family.
Nakiah latched well from the beginning. The problem I had was getting the nipple in her mouth. I had the hardest time finding a comfortable position to nurse in. She was taken to the NICU an hour after birth and kept there over night. Her birth was traumatic. She was blue and limp, and the had to resuscitate her. Even after she was checked out, I wasn’t the first to hold my baby. My friend had to ask loudly for them to let me hold my baby. I held her for 10-15 mins and then she was taken to the NICU. I told the nurses to call my room when she was ready to eat. That’s exactly what they did. I walked down the hall several times a night to sit and nurse my newborn.
It was new to us and I enjoyed it so much. Charles would come down with me too. At the end of our nursing session we would all sit and cuddle.
We would place Nakiah back in her crib and we would go back to our room.
I was so excited when they brought her into my room early in the morning. The Lactation Consultant came by for a visit. She helped me practice several comfortable positions and holds to nurse in. I didn’t feel completely confident about breastfeeding at that time, but I figured I would in time.
I did become more confident and comfortable as time went on. She had her first bottle of pumped milk at six weeks old. She didn’t take to it very well. I don’t think she liked the nipple.
I thought if I wanted to go out and be free I needed to use formula.
I was tired of sitting in the bathroom to nurse Nakiah. I was tired of using dressing rooms in the mall, and covering with a blanket in the car.
I also wanted Charles to be able to feed her. We were both crushed when she wouldn’t take the bottles of formula or breast milk from him.
I started freezing it and she would take a bottle every now and then, but only an ounce or two.
When she was around 6 weeks old she developed baby acne. I noticed it getting worse and worse. It becoming very red and it was all over her face. We took her to the Dr and she told us it was eczema. She told us to use all free/clear detergent, use all cotton clothing on her. If we weren’t wearing cotton we needed to use a cotton burp cloth between us to hold her. I couldn’t even have skin to skin with my baby anymore because the heat from our bodies would cause the eczema to flare up.
I tried this routine plus the cortisone cream and the Aquaphor baby wash and moisturizer. We did this for 6 weeks, but she continued to have these flare ups. I finally looked online about eczema and babies. I read about how they could be allergic to the foods we eat. dairy, eggs, wheat.
Breastfeeding does reduce the risk of allergies, but it wasn’t so in our case. Breastfeeding and Food Allergies We have a history of asthma in our family on both sides. Both of my children were allergic to dairy, nuts, eggs.
I researched online and came upon the Elimination Diet
Within a matter of days we noticed her flare ups were less and less, she stopped scratching as much. Her skin began to heal as the weeks went by.
A lot of people said they couldn’t believe what I was doing and I should just give her formula full time. I couldn’t do it, I didn’t want to. There were things I couldn’t eat, but I wanted to nurse over eating pizza. I knew breast milk was still the best for her.
Over a few months her skin cleared up and we nursed at home and friends houses and I would use formula when we were out.
She never loved it, but she drank it. It was Similac Alimentum. Oh, and her Ped who I loved, said that there was no way her eczema was related to what I was eating.
I went with my gut on that one. I’m glad I did.
I remember the day she weaned. I wasn’t expecting it. She was 10 months old. We were at home and she had been fussy for a while. I tried everything, she didn’t want a nap, no bottle, no fruit, nothing. I finally offered to nurse her, and she did for about 5 mins. She climbed down, walked off and played with her toys. Later that night when she normally would’ve nursed to sleep, she kept refusing. She went to sleep in my arms while I rocked her.
I wish I had known about all of the different types of baby carriers on the market. The Evenflo frontpack only worked up to a certain weight.
From that night on she never nursed again. I wasn’t expecting it and I was heart broken.
I later learned that it may have been a nursing strike
To this day I still remember how she would look while she was nursing. She would make a fist and hold it at her side. She would look at me with her big brown eyes and those long black eye lashes.
She reminds me several times a week “when I was a baby, I got ni-ni’s like Ava”
I love it when she gives her babies ni-ni’s.
I am so grateful for our 10 month breastfeeding relationship.