Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Birth Experience and How It Affected Breastfeeding

Welcome 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 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 Birth Experiences and Breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

I always knew I'd breastfeed my babies. It was just natural to me. When I got pregnant, I started attending La Leche League meetings to prepare myself to know as much as I could about breastfeeding. I don't think it would have mattered at all what my birth experience had been, I was determined to breastfeed Goober Pie!
Thankfully, I had a wonderful birth experience. In fact, I'm working on a post about Goober Pie's birth story right now. It was perfect. I was able to have a completely natural birth in the hospital, fully supported by my OB and by all the hospital staff. I had a Birth Plan and we were able to follow it exactly. God really blessed us in that. I know lots of women who were not able to birth like they wanted to.
I was able to try to get Goober Pie to latch a little while after his birth. He had aspirated as he was born, so he had some amniotic fluid in his lungs that they worked hard to get out. He was breathing really hard and fast, so they were going to have to take him to the NICU to see if they could get his breathing back to normal. Thankfully, they let me try to latch him before they took him. He wasn't really interested, so we just got to bond. It was the sweetest moment. Me looking at him, in amazement that he was here. That he was mine. Oxytocin flowing through my body making me just gush love. This little wonder of a boy staring back at me. Perfectly calm. Beautiful little bundle.
Thankfully, right when the nurse got him to the NICU floor, his breathing evened out so she was able to bring him back to us! We were transferred to a room and he was sent to the nursery for his first bath and all his first tests to check him out. Waiting for him in my hospital room was agony. I wanted to see my baby, and to be with him.
After about 5 hours, he was returned to me. He was hungry. The nursery nurse that night played a huge role in my breastfeeding career.  Sure, I knew what to do. Knew what a good latch looked like. But I had no idea what it was supposed to FEEL like. I had no idea to take what I knew and put it into reality. I had flat nipples, so getting Goober Pie to latch was very difficult. The nursery nurse brought me some Medela nipple shields, and spent a good long while with me and my babe showing me what positions were good to nurse a newborn in, and helping me get a good latch and maintain it.
I'm so thankful to her. Because left on my own, while my exhausted husband peacefully snoozed, I would have become more and more frustrated. I would have been in hysterical tears. I would have felt like a failure. But there she was, a phone call away. Willing to come and get up close and personal with me, my breast, and my baby to make sure that he got the best thing for him: breastmilk.
So I didn't have a traumatic birth. Labor was very long, but it was a beautiful experience. I'm sure it helped me glide right into breastfeeding my son. I'm not sure how my experience breastfeeding would have been affected if I had a different experience giving birth to my son. I do know that no matter what, breastfeeding was, and is, my top priority.

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

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