Support Makes All The Difference

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about your partner’s role in breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!
 


 

I have two kids and I have been breastfeeding for the past 3 and a half years. I’ve come a long way since the day our son was born in December 2009 and have become a strong supporter of breastfeeding and helping mamas get accurate information and help during their nursing days. I’m not going to say breastfeeding is always easy or that it should come to you naturally, even though it’s a natural act. When I started, I struggled. I had pain and I also had a newborn that wanted to nurse all day long. Three and a half years later and I still remember those early nursing days–clenching my jaw and kicking my feet every time my son latched on because it hurt so much. If I could just get through those first few seconds, it would be fine… so I not only took everything day by day, but session by session. Let’s just get through one more. Before I knew it, weeks had passed and the pain was gone. We had a strong breastfeeding relationship and I’m proud to say my 3.5 year old son still nurses on occasion and so does his 17-month-old little sister. If you think nursing is sweet, wait until you’re nursing two at the same time and they hold hands or the older sibling gently rubs the head of the younger brother or sister. Are your ovaries twinging? Don’t tell my husband that mine are 😉

breastfeeding

I always say there was ONE thing that helped me reach my breastfeeding goals and there is one thing that will help you reach yours. SUPPORT. Especially in those early days of being a new mom, it can be so hard… your life has turned a 180, it’s no longer about you, you spend all day with this new little being, and you’re giving up a major part of yourself. It’s an adjustment. Aside from being prepared and knowing what to expect, you must have support.

I am amazingly lucky that my husband was beyond supportive. Thinking about it right now is bringing tears to my eyes. I struggled after our son’s birth. It was an unexpected (and unnecessary) cesarean and I was a mess. I always believed I successfully breastfed because I couldn’t handle to “fail” at one more thing, as I had “failed” at the birth.

breastfeeding

I remember having a formula sample–it must have come to us in the mail or maybe from the hospital–and I remember taking it out of the cabinet and setting it on the counter. I stared at it, for days. I’d walk by and think, “Oh, maybe just this once. Maybe it would help.” But I never used it and it was my husband that threw it away and said, “No, we can do this.” He’d hold my hand when I was in pain. When I took out our breastfeeding help DVD to get some tips and fell asleep 5 minutes in (new mom exhaustion), my husband watched the entire thing by himself. He highlighted the important stuff for me. He’d prop my feet up with a stool and put the nursing pillow in position. He helped me get past booby traps and self-doubt and unsupportive people.

In those hard times, it would be so easy to give up or quit if my husband (or other “support system”) had encouraged me to. If he had said, “let’s try formula just for today,” instead of “let’s just get through one more day of nursing,” what would I have done? Would I have stopped breastfeeding? I’d like to think not, but I probably would have… for me it was all about the support and having my own cheerleader made the biggest difference in the world.

breastfeeding

Another wonderful source of support was twitter. As weird as that may sound, it was amazing. I had no one in real life to talk to as none of my friends were even close to having babies. I found “friends” on twitter and asked a million questions. When I was frustrated or upset or in pain or confused… they answered. They talked me through it. They had all been there and done that. It was so reassuring to know others were out there that went through the same thing or were currently going through it, too. Twitter isn’t the only place–I’m sure now there are groups on facebook and forums on websites. Surround yourself with breastfeeding moms. One thing I remember from someone on twitter was the advice to just take it one day at a time… try for one more day. Try for one more nursing session. Before you know it, you’re a pro and breastfeeding is easy and second-nature.

I could not have done it without my support system and I strongly believe that is what is lacking from our community. Moms need encouragement to continue, they need accurate information about breastfeeding, and they need support in what they are doing. I am ALWAYS available to talk with moms and help in any way I can, even if you just need an ear to listen. You can find me on my blog, Baby Dickey, on twitter, or facebook.

breastfeeding

DSC_0248_edited-1Emily Dickey, from the Chicago area, went from being a college human biology instructor to a blogger and social media enthusiast to stay at home with her children. Ryan, 3.5 years old, is an absolute sweetheart and Rebecca, 17 months, is an independent wild child. Emily is working on her childbirth educator certification and is also a local leader for the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN).

 


 

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival

2 responses to “Support Makes All The Difference

  1. Hello, I am currently living in Los Angeles. And I have a 22 month and half baby. He will turn 2 this June. I am still nursing him and he’s not showing any signs of weaning, and it does worry me a bit because his doctor told me I need to stop nursing him since he’s older and that’s it’s best for both of us. And also she said at this point in his life, I’m not supplying him with nutrient. I’m just a little confused and frustrated because I feel bad having to stop breastfeeding him. Please tell me what you think and what you did as well. Thank you for your time.

    • You are still most definitely providing him with nutrients! There’s absolutely no reason to stop before you’re ready. The World Health Organization actually recommends nursing until AT LEAST two years old. I would recommend The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding as well as Mothering Your Nursing Toddler. Also, possibly a new doctor. 😄

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s