I did it! it is so worth it!

by Elmarie Blignaut
(South Africa)

Ulrich

Ulrich

When I first found out I was pregnant, it was an easy decision to make…I would breastfeed!
This because of all the reasons the doctors gave, naturally…it’s good for my baby.

My son was born 5 weeks early, his mouth was still too small to suck properly. The first night in the hospital, the nurse came to help me and tried to hand express the milk, it was so painful I cried. Two days later I had purple marks on my breasts. It was terrible!

I still remember when my husband came into the room that first day, he looked at me in puzzlement and asked if my breasts where going to stay that big! Haha…

I cried because my child was hungry and I couldn’t give him food, my child cried because he was hungry, my poor husband didn’t know what to do. My breasts felt as though they wanted to explode from all the milk. My husband then went and bought me a manual breast pump. The pump only made my breasts more painful, my breasts where now so full and the glands became blocked. I decided to go to Roosmaryn where a sister told me to use one of the Medela breast pumps on hire.

I went home and started pumping, if I remember correctly I pumped about 150ml out of the one breasts. So everything worked out okay, mommy was happy because baby was happy and daddy was happy because mommy and baby was happy and they stopped crying!

We finally bought an electric breast pump, my days where mostly occupied by pumping and feeding my son. I had to pump around the clock to keep my milk production up. Some night I would fall asleep with the pump, even while pumping.

I did try breastfeeding in-between the pumping sessions, but my son didn’t want to. I felt so hopeless, but my husband supported and encouraged me. The sister said I should use nipple shields. What a mess, the milk flows out everywhere, I was sticky and baby was sticky, it didn’t work either. Every time we tried it ended up miserable. I was heart sore from scratch again, but I didn’t give up hope.

We where sitting at my mom and thems place, and I thought let me try just one more time. Ulrich was about two and a half month old at the time. It finally happened, he grabbed my breast with his little hands and started drinking. I cried with joy.

From that day on, baby and mommy’s boobs where inseparable. From that day on they where not mommy’s breasts anymore, I lost them somewhere along the way. When I bathed he would open his mouth wide and when I dressed and he saw my breasts he would cry. We use to fall asleep together like this. Ulie is such a healthy baby. Him and I now had a better bonding experience. It was a wonderful feeling.

For me the breastfeeding was the best thing about being a mommy. All the struggling and tears where worth it, I would do it again any day. I wanted to breastfeed until Ulrich was 2 but could not unfortunately.

I wanted to breastfeed because it was the best for my baby but today I feel differently about it, I breastfed because I enjoyed it, it was good for me and my child emotionally and health wise. It is a feeling I will never forget. Maybe it was so magnificent because I worked so hard to make it happen, I don’t know.

Ulrich is now two and a half and I enjoy being a mother, I would recommend that every mother breastfeeds if it is possible for her. It is indescribably fantastic. It also has many advantages. Breastfeed not just for baby but also for yourself. If you struggle don’t just give up, get help, do some research, it is so worth it!

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