Thursday, November 15, 2007

Whatever happened to wet nurses?

As many of you know, Porgie and I had a very difficult time with breastfeeding. After a month of breastfeeding exclusively, Porgie had failed to regain her birth weight, and I was an emotional wreck. Although I was tempted to switch to formula (which the pediatrician strongly recommended), I ultimately decided to primarily pump for the next 5 months (I still attempted to breastfeed Porgie when she was upset and during the night). Pumping was hard (I never had a very good supply), but it was totally worth it. Because of my pumping efforts, Porgie receive breast milk for the first 6 months of her life. Although it took a long time for me to come to terms with pumping, I am proud of my accomplishment.

Of course, I am going to give breastfeeding another try. I threw out all of the bottles, except for 4 small ones. I have my pump cleaned and ready to use (Thank you Amber!). And I already purchased a few nursing bras.

Even though I am ready to give breastfeeding another shot, I do not plan on pumping exclusively again. In fact, I am only giving breastfeeding a limited time span in my household. If things are not going smoothly after 2 months, I am going to give up on nursing.

Although many of you might not agree with this approach, I am not going to let breastfeeding dominate my life this time around. I spent WAY TOO MUCH time and energy trying to breastfed Porgie. By the end of the first month, I was still crying uncontrollably, calling the lactation consultant everyday, and waking Porgie up every two hours to nurse - even at night. Honestly, I feel like breastfeeding was hindering our relationship instead of helping it. I was so stressed out, and I think Porgie could sense my anxiety. After I made the decision to start pumping, life instantly got better. I stopped having emotional meltdowns, Porgie started gaining weight, and we all started getting a little more sleep.

With Porgie, I made the decision to pump. However, I will not have that luxury this time around. I am going to have a toddler and a newborn to care for. I will not have time to pump for 20-30 minutes, every two hours, ALL DAY LONG - in addition to cleaning all of the pumping supplies and then feeding Izzy from bottle. And of course, that would mean I would have bottles to clean too.

I am hopeful that things will go much smoother this time, and Izzy will be a champion nurser. But if breastfeeding begins to make me feel like I am spiraling towards depression, I am definitely going to stop.

15 comments:

It's not about the badge! said...

Who could blame you for not wanting to spend a lot of time on breastfeeding if it is not working? We have a friend who had lots of difficulty with it as well and she only pumped for about a month after her baby was born.

If it is not working and you give it an honest try, then who cares how the baby gets its food! Just as long as it is healthy!!

Eva said...

I think that sounds like a great plan and a healthy attitude. Good luck!

Misguided Mommy said...

im totally sure i have to shave it is my doctors protocall and if i dont the nurse with the dry bic will get me. i'm positive no way around the shit

Dooneybug said...

Sounds like you have a great plan mapped out! I think you'll find this time around you'll be more relaxed about it. If you go in with the attitude you have now, that you are going to try but if it doesn't work out it's ok, will be good for helping you relax and be at peace with whatever happens.

Carrie said...

I just don't understand the great breastfeeding war. I know I'm going to try, if it doesn't work, oh well. I was a formula baby because doctors were recommending it at the time. I turned out fine, same for my sisters. that was 35 years ago. You can't tell me that they haven't improved on the formal since then!

Misguided Mommy said...

ookay i dont care how dumb i look what the fuck is a wet nurse

Rachel said...

From what I hear..boys have an easier time nursing. But I am shocked at how long you pumoed for. I admire your commitment to Porgie. But with a 2nd one-well I think it would be really tough. I am sure it will all be fine. Let the little guy do his work. Stay relaxed.

karla said...

I think you have a totally great attitute about everything. It sounds like you have found the perfect balance between meeting Momma, Izzy's and Porgie's needs.

Don't mom's in third world countries share breastfeeding duty with other people's kids? I thought I read that somewhere....

Cagey said...

Oh Christy - you have to do what is best for you and your family. So, I expect to see NO guilt, no matter what happens. Okay? :-)

Also, I think 2 months is a good amount of time to figure it out. You are giving it an honest go and I think you will be okay with your decision at that point.

Also, the 2nd time around was TONS easier, for me at least.

Christy said...

Shannon,
A wet nurse is someone who nurses a baby when the mother is unable to. Its a common practice in 3rd world countries, where formula/clean water isn't readily available.

Catizhere said...

Neither of my kids wanted to nurse. It was HORRIBLE. Latch issues, thrush, the eye-crossing pain... Although I agree that "Breast is best", you do what you have to do to feed your baby.

Amber said...

Hey no problem on the breast pump! I have no use for it anymore :-) I hope it works well for you! And your plan sounds like a great one! Pumping is always harder when you have older children needing your attention which is why each of my kids got a little less breastmilk than the one before!

Eva said...

It sounds like you've given it a lot of thought and have a plan in place that will be healthiest and best for all of you. Good for you! I hope it works more easily this time around but either way you will know what you plan to do and will be prepared. Good luck!

Mary said...

I wish you the best of luck with BFing this time around. Don't stress yourself out about it and don't feel guilty with whatever you decide.

kristi said...

I tried the breastfeeding thing with Sara. It lasted one week and my nipples had scabbed over and would bleed. I cried the whole time she tried to eat. It was HORRIBLE. I had a c-section and I had bruising from belly button down and TERRIBLE pain and I said screw it..and bought formula.

With TC, I did try to breastfeed but he never did latch on right. So I pumped for 1 month til' I went back to work. He was waaaay more healthier than Sara was..so I guess it worked. But he has allergies, asthma and autism. So he has had his challenging moments too!

I say do what works for you. My kids are 6 years apart so I was able to pump for awhile...or til' I got ready to go back to work.