Ok, so Evan is now almost eight weeks old and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve had challenges (to say the least) with breastfeeding, but he is doing much better. Evan was unable to latch properly, for some reason, until he was six weeks old. We worked with a wonderful lactation consultant who provided great advice and encouragement. Our routine was to nurse Evan, then pump, and then cup-feed him the milk that was pumped – a process taking 45 minutes to an hour – every two to three hours. It was very difficult to keep up with – especially with Anna (5) and Will (3) running around – but I had help from friends and family. Still I was pretty much tied to the house, in an endless cycle of feeding or getting ready to feed the baby.
Someone asked me why I stuck with it for so long, and the reasons are many… First, I know that breastmilk is the best food for babies, and researchers are always finding new benefits for both baby and mom. Also, I had breastfed Anna and Will, so I knew it could be done. Convenience – I can’t imagine having to pack up formula, prepare it, wash bottles over and over. Frugality – have you seen how much formula costs?! Why spend that money when I have a free supply of the best food anyway? Stubbornness – I had decided, and could not give in to quitting no matter how discouraged I became.
I am happy to say that Evan is now eating like a champ – it was well worth the effort! So maybe our story can encourage someone else to stick with it if they are struggling with breastfeeding. Get expert help right away if you need it – there are different techniques and aids available to help you make it work. Oddly enough, breastfeeding does not necessarily come naturally or easily, though it really seems to me that it should! There are enough immediate and long-term benefits for baby and mom to make it worth any trouble. For a good website on the subject go to http://www.drjacknewman.com/.