Breastfeeding Despite the Challenges: Our Green Mom Spotlight Continues

What could be more natural or beautiful than breastfeeding your new baby?  Well, it may be natural, but it’s not always easy.  Erika Jones of Organic Baby Resource shares her experience with breastfeeding for our second green mom spotlight.

Green Baby Guide:  What were the challenges you faced as a breastfeeding mother?

Erika: I’d put the challenges into two categories: mental and physical.

The women I had relied on for support all my life (mom, sister, friends) could provide me with no support or even encouragement in this area. Listening to their stories had me prepared for rather nightmarish outcomes when it came to breastfeeding. I’d tell them I dreamt of breastfeeding and it was a glorious experience and they found it laughable. They meant well; they just hadn’t experienced it that way.

The physical challenges were two-fold. Number one I had larger than average breasts and getting the hang of the positions took a little extra maneuvering at first. After the first week this wasn’t as much of an issue. The other challenge was that my daughter was born with jaundice and was dehydrated in the beginning so she didn’t have time for us to get the hang of things naturally and wait for my milk to come in. We had to supplement right away. In order to prevent nipple confusion, we let her dad squirt formula in her mouth with little syringes after she was nursed. This lasted for about four or five days after she was born.

Green Baby Guide: Did you manage to stick with it despite those challenges?  If so, how?

Erika: We did and are still breastfeeding at 19 months. I think the key to success was giving birth in an environment where breastfeeding was encouraged. The doctors nurses and lactation consultants all were willing to suggest different ways to meet our child’s needs while preserving our desire to breastfeed. Once I got home, I also had a friend who had successfully breastfed three children to encourage me and assure me it would get better after a short while. Finally, I didn’t allow myself to believe I couldn’t do it.

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