Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Note About Breast Feeding

We had a rough start.  Hayden was admitted to the NICU within the first hours of his life.  This experience was something I could never have planned for.  Bonding with my new baby and establishing breastfeeding had a whole new element added.  I could not hold him.  

Every 3 hours he was able to come out of his incubator for just 30 minutes for feeding.  I was under pressure from the nurses (for good reason) to have feedings that were quick and substantial.  This is very challenging with a jaundice baby who is lethargic and immediately lulled to sleep at the breast.  As a part of the effort to lower his billi level, Hayden's feedings were supplemented with formula and bottles, not an easy thing for a new mother intent on breastfeeding to swallow.  One advantage was being surrounded by the amazing nursing staff at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas.  They helped me to learn the best technique for feeding my new baby and I will never forget how I felt the first time the latched on, I mean REALLY latched on.  I was so happy I had tears in my eyes, we had finally figured it out!

The point is, breastfeeding is hard.  I will always be amazed that something so vital to a newborn, can be so difficult.  Some women have described a high from breastfeeding, I never got that.  I loved knowing I was giving my son the best, but I was never completely comfortable with it anywhere except home.  It is a lifestyle and not for everyone.  So whatever you decide, it is your decision and yours alone.

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