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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.