Black Breastfeeding Week
Wow! Okay, I didn’t know this week even existed. But since it does… perhaps I should share a piece of my own journey.
Currently, many women speak about their over the moon joy of breastfeeding. I won’t say I am over the moon, more or so, just blessed I was able to have the experience and save money. These days #Similac is $40 a can, and an average baby can drink that in 3-5 days. I’m more reasonable to what makes sense. Also, breastfed babies don’t get as sick as much and as quick as babies that aren’t.
The first two weeks of breastfeeding were the most difficult and painful. We had a great latch, and Alana loved the milk (not all babies do), but waking up every 2-3 hours, and the scabbing of your nipples (yes your nipples get scabbed up, they’ve never produced milk before) was overwhelming. Every time Alana was hungry I literally jumped when she latched, because the pain hurt so bad. For me it hurt worse than labor! The pain on my nipples lasted for two weeks straight every 2-3 hours, verses being in labor for 8 hours. But that’s just my opinion.
My husband is 6’4 and I am 5’9, we knew we were having a long and fast growing baby, so I questioned if I was going to be producing enough milk, and keep up with the feedings. Alana was born 6 pounds 10 ounces. By week one she was already 8 pounds. She was growing fast!
Sometimes the feeling can be overwhelming, and knowing that your child depends on you is frightening; or at least for me it is. For the majority of my life I’ve pride myself to always stay proactive and productive, but to have a whole little human depending on me was a lot to take in.
Let’s talk about weight loss. When I was pregnant I gained about 22-25 pounds on a #vegetarian/ #vegan diet; every now and then meat. I lost all my weight by week 6. My weight fell off. The only thing left now is to tone! (I’ll be putting together a weight-loss plan, if you all are interested)
I have three breast pumps (also, a hand pump in the diaper bag, which always comes in handy)! Two for home, and one for work. This helps me so much, because I am very busy. I am finishing my masters in December, I’m going back to the radio station part-time, an Officer in my sorority, and running my own nonprofit Always a Lady First (AALF). I need multiple pumps to accommodate my lifestyle. I was fortunate to have insurance that covered one pump, a church friend gave me hers, and another friend sold me a #Medela Backpack pump for $75. This was definitely a blessing!
I am two months plus down on breastfeeding. I plan to keep #breastfeeding until Alana begins food. I learned that if you breastfeed too long, your breast can sag. I don’t know about other women, but I don’t want saggy breast. So I plan to continue a healthy diet lifestyle, and exercise, to hopefully prevent my breast from sagging.
This experience has been painful, emotional, time consuming, but most importantly, loving. I love Alana. And I am glad I can sacrifice for my family. Multi-tasking isn’t easy. But in the end, I’ll look back and smile, and think to myself, “now that’s unconditional love”.