I always said I would breastfeed my baby. Always for at least the first year. When people asked, that’s what I told them. Well, we have hit the 6 month mark.
Honestly, until the baby is here, you don’t realize how difficult breastfeeding can really be, how many challenges can occur and just how painful it can be in the beginning. Granted, everyone is different, but collectively something that our body is made to do, you would think it would be a bit easier. Regardless, a new mom has to maintain a strong mindset that she can do this. (Please keep in mind that I know some women are unable to for whatever reason.) It helps to have friends that just continue to reiterate get through the first couple of weeks. That’s what I kept repeating to myself in the beginning. And you know what, my body adapted and I really started to enjoy it.
The health benefits alone are huge, but the bonding experience…there’s just nothing like it. When Mason first made his appearance, he was placed on my chest for an hour…skin to skin. Nursing was the first thing that he “knew”. It’s instinctive for a baby. Unreal.
Now here we are 6 months later and I am still nursing him. I have not faced many challenges that other women face. Once I got past the initial pain, breastfeeding was easy for us and for that I’m thankful because I know that’s not always the case.
Lately, I have had a few setbacks (dealing with thrush, a lower supply due to sickness), but we’re still trucking on. Another setback…being told at your baby’s 6 month checkup that he is not gaining weight, has dropped down to the 5th percentile and dropped down 2 growth curves. Not what a momma wants to hear especially when you are the sole food source. I cried. I couldn’t help but feel that I had failed to some extent. That my body was letting me down. The doctor wanted me to supplement temporarily after I had nursed him. And breastfeeding mommas know that this could potentially be detrimental for supply.
Those were my initial feelings. I KNOW that I am NOT failing at feeding Mason. He is right where he needs to be in regards to his development. He’s just a long and lean little guy. I realized the importance of taking care of myself as well. We’ve been battling sickness which in turn has affected my diet and my water intake, which affects my milk. I am on the mend now. Mason has started eating some pureed foods at night. I’ve increased the amount of breast milk he gets at daycare and he is getting some formula at daycare after he finishes his normal bottles of breast milk. I know there is a different chart of growth for breastfed babies and I’m not sure if that is what our doctor used, regardless, we’re working on plumping Mason up just a bit. And I’m continuing to nurse him whenever he wants as long as he wants when we are together. That’s my first priority.
This is just a temporary setback. We will get past this and continue to breastfeed as his primary food source. We will make it to his first birthday and if he wants to continue for a bit past that, that’s fine with me.