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I Did Not Stub My Toe Today: Breastfeeding Success

By guest blogger Cyndi

Cyndi breastfeeding

I have been nursing my oldest for 35.5 months and counting and nursing my youngest so far for 1 week.

I did not stub my toe today.

I want to preface this story by saying that I know breastfeeding is not easy for everyone, and takes dedication and effort for some, this is in no way written to negate that or ignore that very real fact.

I find it necessary to share my story because I believe many people can relate, but choose not to mention it because a normal everyday activity is not share-worthy-it doesn’t need recognition or support. No one goes on support pages and says “my day was normal, nothing out of the ordinary here, everything is great!”

People do not proclaim “I did not stub my toe today!” For good reason. We do not want to sound like we are bragging or to make our sore-toed peers feel bad, and frankly, normal is boring and doesn’t warrant anyone any extra attention (not saying people complain about problems or ask for help with issues for attention).

Here’s the problem. The stories we hear are un-proportionately unbalanced to the rough side of things. A new mom educating herself on breastfeeding, joining support pages, participating in forums and the like may very well only hear about stubbed toes. She may not see that breastfeeding came easy to many moms, the percentage of tongue ties and IGT and problems pumping and shield use will be much higher than the percentage of uneventful, everyday experiences shared. That can be daunting.

Cyndi breastfeeding while daughter watches

So here is my story.

My first daughter took to nursing beautifully. I had a mildly sore nipple on one side for a few days but her latch was great, she gained weight well and transferred milk efficiently. I leaked a lot, but got used to stuffing a rag in my bra. She continued to nurse exclusively with no problems. We never had reason to be separated for feeds until 7 months when I returned to school and even then I was able to nurse directly for most feeds so we didn’t have to worry about bottles (we used straw cups) or the fact that I didn’t pump much out.

She continued to nurse alongside foods with no problems. When she was 2 we decided to try for another baby and got pregnant relatively easily. My first continued to nurse through pregnancy, which was uncomfortable at times, but bearable. Through nearly 3 years nursing her (countless times in public mostly uncovered) I only had one mildly negative nursing-in-public experience and many positive experiences from strangers, friends and family.

I was confident in my ability to nurse my second, but of course had some concerns about her ability to nurse, as I noticed her sister had a mild lip-tie and I was at a slightly increased risk of birth interventions this time. She nursed painlessly (well her latch was painless, the contractions were horrid) for a good hour immediately after birth and was nursing like a professional by 24 hours old. She was getting plenty of milk, blood sugars were good and no jaundice. My milk transitioned by 36 hours. I was full but not engorged or very uncomfortable.

Cyndi tandem nursing

She is still nursing beautifully and her  big sister is wonderful at sharing and being patient (most of the time) for her turn.

So as you read the stories and see the moms seeking support or help or hear those proud of their rocky breastfeeding journeys realize that for every mom who had a rough time who knows how many moms just nursed with no issues and didn’t mention it.

Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I love this! This exactly how I feel about nursing my two. I always feel awkward about saying “breastfeeding was easy and natural for me,” because of so many women who have to fight hard…but that’s my breastfeeding story. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Britta Spencer says:

    Yes! When I read accounts of “breastfeeding HURTS in the beginning,” I wonder, why are you telling them (expectant moms) THAT? It may very well not be true, and it may scare them from even trying or make them anxious rather than excited when they introduce baby to breast, etc etc etc. I think it is a good thing to educate mothers on the potential obstacles that they may face, so they may prepare for them. However, I think that telling an expectant mom that breastfeeding “will hurt” is no different than commenting “You plan on having a drug-free birth?! Ha, we’ll see how long you last before you’re begging for an epidural and calling the anesthesiologist ‘God.’ Ha ha ha!” Both comments encourage the woman to fail, and then if she does, condemns her for being weak for not “perservering” or “getting through it” like other women seem to do without ever taking into account the diversity of individual human experiences.

  3. I too want to share that my breast feeding journey has been uneventful -and long! I fed my first baby until she was 26months, my second for 2.5yrs and my third is still going at 18months. I had some overlap with 2 and 3, which was exhausting at times, but I’m sure it has helped their relationship with each other to grow so beautifully! And it meant that my son didn’t feel that the baby had replaced him. We’re hoping to try for number 4, so will see what happens! And maybe one day I’ll get some sleep!!

  4. Kimberley Deaton says:

    I’m still nursing my 43 month old. I also tandem nursed my older 2, but they weaned before 3.
    Thanks for the blog. It’s so nice to read about other older kids nursing.

  5. I’m one of the lucky ones too, but I do think if more new mums gave breastfeeding more of a chance they might feel like the lucky ones too. Never had a problem feeding any of my four children. First 3 boys I fed myself for around 36 months each and never had any nipple soreness, although I did get mastitis when trying to stop feeding so I gave up trying to give up. I too have combined being pregnant and breast feeding which was fine also but decided to stop feeding my elder one as I didn’t think newborn milk was really meant for him and vice versa. I am now currently feeding baby Rose who is 5 weeks old and loving it, our bond is already so strong, I feel sad for those who don’t get to have this life affirming wonderful experience. When I feed my little ones without trying to sound naff, I feel at one with mother nature and as though this is the very reason,why I was put here.

  6. My nursing adventure has been eventful. The first three months were very difficult, and it wasn’t always smooth sailing over the next 30 months, especially after getting pregnant and then having a second nursling. But, I was and am still glad to hear stories like this bc it helped me realize that having difficulties was very different from having drama.
    My first was tongue-tied and required formula supplements for those first three months. I admit to crying and worrying I was a horrible mother. My second suffered from fore/hind milk imbalance until I figured out how to feed a newborn and toddler at the same time. But that doesn’t mean it was dramatic or terrible or worth giving up. I pushed through bc I knew it would be a non-event one day. Eventually it would just be normal. I looked forward bc I knew of stories just like yours.
    Thanks for sharing!

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