A'Jia's Breastfeeding Journey
My breastfeeding journey started during pregnancy, that’s when I first had the thought to breastfeed. I remember when I first found out that I was pregnant, one of the first things that came to mind was, “I am, without a doubt, going to feed the baby breastmilk.” The thought came out of no where. It was ironic because I have never seen anyone in my family breastfeed either. I suppose the random thought to choose to breastfeed was just instinct. Never the less, I was firm on it throughout my pregnancy and I was really excited to do it. I thought it was going to come easy and natural, but boy was I wrong. From the very first day that she was born, we immediately had difficulties. I think the medicine from the epidural had an effect on her when she came out because she was too drowsy to feed. Every time I put her on my breast to feed, she would fall asleep. I also thought she wasn’t strong enough to get the milk out due to her drowsiness. Because she was drowsy and not strong enough to get milk out herself, I made the decision to supplement with formula and feed her through a tube (I didn’t want to use a bottle because I was afraid she would get too used to a bottle nipple.) I didn’t just pump breastmilk for her to use instead because after having just gone through the most athletic thing I have ever done, labor and pushing out an entire child out of me, lets just say I was too exhausted.
Supplementing with formula and not pumping for two days while in the hospital and for a few more days at home left me with a decreased milk supply. Never the less, I still tried feeding her from the breast at every feeding and then finished her off with formula. While at home, the new goal was to increase my supply so to have enough milk to satisfy her. I tried different methods to help increase my supply, like mothers milk tea and eating oatmeal every morning but, the only thing that worked the best was having her take more milk out. There was one day when she was going through a growth spurt and she was hungry a lot more often than usual so I thought it was the perfect time to work on feeding her from the breast more. So that entire day, during her spurt, I stayed home and breastfeed her every single time she cried for food. I used no formula at all and literally the next day, like magic, my supply increased and I had enough to satisfy her. Seeing her satisfied for the first time off of my breastmilk from my breast alone made all the difficulties worth it. I was completely ecstatic Ever since that day we have been exclusively breastfeeding and she is now 7 months.