Breastfeeding is something that I hold very dear to me. I have breastfed all six of our biological children and I was planning on breastfeeding our adoptive daughter. However, my breastfeeding journey didn’t start when I became a mother.
I am the oldest of my parents five biological children, my mom breastfed all of us. I have a large and close extended family. We spent most Sunday afternoons at my Mema and Papa’s with my mom’s siblings and their children. It was normal to walk in to the living room to see my Aunt Mary tandem nursing her twins with her two year old son sitting in her lap. We had a hobby pig farm and I raised a sow named Beverly, she nursed all her babies. Nursing a baby was always just a normal part of life at our house.
When my husband Brent and I got pregnant with our first child I didn’t even stop and think about by what means my child would eat and when our first was laid on my chest I latched him on without even thinking. It was second nature.
But that’s not always how things went down. I had gestational diabetes with several of my pregnancies and a couple of my babies had a hard time regulating their blood sugar on their own, baby boy #2 had to be admitted to the special care nursery because it was such a struggle for him. Another one of my babies wasn’t gaining weight around 4 months. Twice I nursed after having C-sections. And two different times I had to have surgery while nursing. I have had mastitis and nursed in odd positions just to unclog the milk duct. With our youngest things were all kinds of crazy but through it all we perservered and fought through the challenges. My baby girl is even nursing away as I type.
Through my journey I had support. I had lots of it, I needed lots of it. Breastfeeding is a wonderful and natural thing but it’s not always easy. There are always people who can make it uncomfortable and people who have unwanted advice to give and those who will tell you which formula they think you should be using.
My biggest advice is to secure a good base of supportive people before you start nursing and don’t ever be afraid to reach out for help. Most breastfeeding counselors I know love their job. Find an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) in your area and join a LLL group (La Leche League) and as silly as it sounds wear a good nursing bra. I love Bravado Nursing Bras they can be a little pricey but are well worth the investment. They can even be converted into a regular bra when you are done… plus they don’t look frumpy and have a dual cup sizing which is WONDERFUL!
There are some really great online resources, too. Kellymom.com is my go to site.
When you are out and about and see a mama nursing her baby remember to tell her “good job!” If you have kids they will learn that breastfeeding is a really great thing. I am confident that my family’s positive attitude toward breastfeeding so openly is what has built a foundation for my passion of breastfeeding and the desire to help mamas overcome obstacles in nursing.
Happy National Breastfeeding Week!
Amy Welborn is a homeschooling mama of seven kids living in rural Ohio. She is a family herbalist who is currently working towards certification as a Birth Doula through Childbirth International and has plans to further her education in breastfeeding counseling and childbirth education. Amy is sure to have a baby attached to her boob or placenta if you ever bump into her. She can be found at awelbornbaby.com and new Facebook page: AWelbornBaby Photo credit Belle Hess Photography
This post is part of our series celebrating National Breastfeeding Month! Thaleia added affiliate links to Amazon and for the Free Udder Cover’s Nursing covers to support her site.