Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ready, Set, Breastfeed!

The Internet is a funny place, both vast and endless. It's a place that seems to have gobbled up the entire universe and all of its beings. This is where I came up with my idea for a blog. When I come into my house at night I hang my coat at the door, and here is where I'll hang my thoughts at the end of the day.

I'm a working woman (part of a forever unnamed department of the government), a mom, a wife, a naturalist, a home birth advocate, a student, a friend, and now a blogger. These are things I know well in life, and I intend to share my feelings about them here. This isn't a journal or a dear diary, but a place of inspiration, an idea bucket if you will. It is my hope that eventually my experiences will affect others in a positive light, and help them through situations they may be struggling with. So, with that, onto the first post.

(This was a toss up by the way, I couldn't decide between breast feeding or dutch oven bread)

Breastfeeding it is! My daughter is 10 and a half months old, and I had to return to work when she turned six weeks. This means I've been pumping/ expressing milk for the better part of nine months. For me it wasn't really a decision, because it went right along with my home birth ideals, but it also hasn't been easy. Up until a month ago I was pumping four times a day, desperately trying to keep up with my daughter's demand. For those of you who don't know, if your going to breastfeed you should buy the expensive Medela pump, or rent a hospital grade pump. Babies do a far superior job when it comes to getting your milk to let down, and it can be hard to keep your supply up when you spend the majority of your time at work. This is why if you are going to be away, it's important for you to spend quality time with your baby at the breast when you are home.
Now that my daughter is older and eating solids (by eating solids I mean woofing down anything she can get those grubby fingers on), I've reduced my pumping down to twice a day at work. This has been a big relief, because I really hated having to leave my desk, trudge downstairs, hang a do not enter sign on the store room door, and pump hoping everyone saw the sign. As it happens, there have been a few times where people have ignored the sign, an barged in, Only to find me bare chested with enormous plastic alien suction devices attached to my nipples, diving under the desk for cover! In the end though, I'm positive they were much more embarrassed about the situation than I was (you really lose all your modesty when you repeatedly have to pee in a cup in-front of someone).
I'm both excited and a little sad to know that she's growing so quickly, and that weaning is around the corner. There is something special about the bond that a mother and child build when they nurse together. It's very empowering to know that you are more connected with earth and mother nature than you ever knew. I mean for heavens sake, your body is making the very substance that nourishes, supports, and helps your baby grow into the cute bubbly thing that she/he is. I love it, and recommend that even if you don't think it's for you that you try it. Especially for the colostrum which is very high in proteins and antibodies, and then if you can stand it for even just a little longer, for six weeks because it really does make a big difference for the little guy.

Breastfeeding can be confusing and daunting when you first attempt it, so it's important if your struggling to find a qualified midwife, or lactation consultant. They can help with things like how often you should be nursing, if your latch is right, how much expressed milk your baby needs, etc. Once you get over the hurdles of all the unknowns it's pretty easy, and fulfilling. I believe breastfeeding is hugely helpful if you are co-sleeping, or have a co-sleeper, it allows you to pull your baby into bed with you, and latch them while you're on your side, so you both can get some rest.

For more information about breastfeeding, I suggest checking out Http://, and Ina May Gaskin's " A Guide to Breastfeeding." Both of these women, provide amazing, helpful and encouraging insight for women who are, or plan to breastfeed. My Husband is a stay at home dad, and whenever he argues with me about the amount of milk required for my daughters daily intake, I refer to the website. Really people, you can't argue with cold hard facts!

Posted by Mrs. Dash at 9:50 PM 1 comments KQ8W78MGG5HX

Labels: breastfeeding, new blogger