The Ups and Downs of breastfeeding

I have been through it all; the good times, the bad times and the ugly times. I have loved it, I have hated it, but most of all, I have stuck to it. See my journey here. But when I look at my little girl and how big and healthy she has turned out to be, I know that I am doing the right thing.Here is a list of things I've found out along the way.
The Good

For the Baby

Breast milk is the healthiest food for the baby. It provides the baby with all the necessary nutrients. It is in fact sufficient for the first six months of the baby's life. It is also full of antibodies that protect the baby against illnesses. I can bear witness to this fact. My daughter has not been seriously sick since I gave birth to her. Her colds last for about 3 days and most times my husband and I have had colds and she did not contract it.

For the mom

Nursing has helped me in a number of ways, the obvious one being that I was able to shed the baby weight extremely fast. Just after birth, it helps the woman's uterus contract back normal thus stopping the bleeding.The one thing I have liked the most about it is the connection it creates between me and my daughter. I use nursing to sooth her, to put her to sleep and to feed her when she does not want to eat.
The Bad

She Prefers Nursing to Eating

My baby likes nursing more than she likes to eat. Whenever she feels like being a picky eater, she knows that they're something else to fall back to. I have a trick or two up my sleeves though; I try to avoid nursing her till after she eats. This way, she gets to eat a little more.
Breast Engorgement

Having been used to staying with the baby at home and nursing whenever I felt like it, it took me a long time to adjust when I finally went back to work. My breast would fill up with milk and this was very painful. The bad thing about breast engorgement is that it sends signals to the brain telling the body that too much milk is being produced. This in turn reduced the amount of milk being produced by the body. Other than expressing, I did not find any other relieve for this no go amusing challenge that comes with breastfeeding. You might be able to help a suffering woman out there. Do you know of a way to relieve breast engorgement? Leave your tip by signing the guestbook below.
Uneven Breasts

My right breast produces a lot of milk. My baby prefers it. I must also say that I preferred it too when I was expressing at work. As a result of carrying around so much milk, it became bigger than it's twin sister. I am learning to love my a little asymmetrical body while trying to give her the left one more to see whether it will catch up. Hopefully it will. Fingers remain crossed. If not, well, I shall learn to live with it.
The Ugly

Leaking

One of the challenges I experienced when I started breastfeeding was leaking. It in fact lasted for a whole year, but by then I had learnt how to control it. Leaking happens mostly when you are breastfeeding on one side and milk flows on the other side. This is not as bad though as when it happens when you are giving a presentation at work. It can be triggered by anything. Even just thinking about the baby does trigger it. I used breast pads in the first months to keep the milk in check. I then learnt that crossing my arms around my breast whenever I felt the letdown reflex kick in stop the flow. Other women recommend cabbage leaves. I'm not sure how those work. But here are some things that are sure to do the trick.


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