I recently posted about my struggles nursing Claire as a newborn for several reasons. One was just thinking aloud and recalling what it was like. As my regular pants have turned into elastic waists, I realize this new baby will be here before I know it! I am TERRIFIED about nursing a newborn again. However, I understand from several women, that their milk came in faster, and mothering was just altogether easier because it wasn't brand new. My mom asked me if anything went right with nursing Claire...yeah...I triumphed. I freaking did it. I didn't give up! And really by 5 weeks it was easy! And actually I really owe it to my mom. I mean she answered her phone at all hours and came to spend Claire's first 2 weeks with us. I couldn't have done it without her. Thanks, Mom! And thanks, Mom, for instinctively teaching me how to nurse by nursing me when I was a baby!
They say to circle 6 weeks post-partum on your calendar and to give nursing your all for 6 weeks. It takes 6 weeks for milk to come in fully. A lot of women "dry up" before this time for many reasons. Most of the time, the milk never had a chance to come in because formula was introduced too early...sometimes even in the hospital. I can see why though...nobody wants their baby crying or starving or getting labeled FTT (failure to thrive). Guess what? Claire was labeled FTT (later, not as a newborn)...check out my back posts on this blog! But I wasn't about to start her on anything other than my milk if she wasn't ready for it!!! But she did drop a lot of weight to start with, which no doctor or parent likes! But anyways...
The 6 week time-frame for nursing to get easier is actually an easy time frame to remember as that would be your 6 month post-partum check with your doctor. You know, ideally when your doctor tells you everything is fine, you can resume "relations" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink!) or like mine....he will say that your stitches still aren't healed and don't look very good. Then you will go back in for 2 rounds of steroid injections down there to help break up scar tissue clumps from stitches that popped. Yay. Anyways...CHECK OUT THE OCTOBER BREASTFEEDING CARNIVAL POSTS!!! I link them at the bottom of my post here.
There are several other blogs listed that made posts about "WHAT I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT BREASTFEEDING IN THE EARLY WEEKS." The problem with breastfeeding in the early weeks is that you are sort of thrown in. It is like learning to swim by being dumped in a lake with no life jacket or anyone to help. Freaking hard. I would say nursing Claire was harder in the early weeks than pushing her out of a tiny hole. And that's hard work, too!
I think for me one of the thoughts that kept running through my mind was that I would never "get it" or that it would never get easier. I thought to nurse my baby for 12 months I was going to have to park my butt on the couch for 12 months and not be able to do anything. But see, God and nature have a plan. MOMS NEED TO HEAL. Breastfeeding is designed to make mom park her butt in the bed or couch for like 6-8 weeks so her body can focus on healing and mommy/baby can bond. What a great plan God has!!
Anyways, I think society has failed lots of women by doing lots wrong, but who's fault is it anyways? Nobody? Everybody? SOMEBODY! Well, I decided to do something about this wrong. I mean, you all reading know that I'm pretty passionate about breastfeeding and MOTHERING through breastfeeding. So I decided to do something about it.
About this time last year, I started working with a local LLL on the East Side to become a leader. I wanted to be able to "pay-it-forward" and help other moms. And now I am an official, accredited LLL leader. I am able to lead meetings, take phone calls from moms, and do home visits. It's all volunteer, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Now here is a disclaimer...anything you read on here is coming from ME AS A MOM...not as an official LLL leader! Tell me however if you want some LLL advice...email/call/leave me a comment and I will keep it "official."
While going through the accreditation process, one isn't supposed to advertise one is working on leadership. This is mainly because it is about a year-long (approximately) process and some people do not finish. To dispense official LLL advice, you also have to agree to follow their LLL philosophies while speaking on their behalf. I also have to have liability insurance through LLL. That's kind of scary that someone would need that to help a mom, but it makes perfect sense.
I didn't post right away on my blog that I am now a LLL leader because I'm not sure that would be kosher. But I figure 1) I never see you and it won't matter or 2) I see you a lot and you're gonna find out one way or another! So I thought I may as well bring it into the light. Plus, I thought maybe someone would benefit from knowing this. I can help your friends via phone! I can email with them or if they are local, I can set you/your friends up with meeting info.
I am also excited to announce that the East Side group will be moving to Greenfield starting in Jan. (due to low East Side attendance)!!! I enjoy going to many LLL groups around Indy and still will. But at those other meetings I will just get to be a Mom again, and I will not be leading those meetings. I get to have "playtime" instead of being on "my toes" and leading meetings, although both are fun and stem from my love of school/learning.
So I guess I wish I could do more for moms who want to try to nurse their babies, so this is my way of trying! It's something that's going right!