I must say that I felt a lot of pressure and worry during the first couple weeks of breastfeeding. I did no supplementing and no pumping (for storing). I was the sole food source for baby Sam. I felt this overwhelming fear of him not gaining weight and it being my fault. No one in my family or in my husband's family breastfeed. And I was too tired to get out and join The La Leche League. So I really didn't have a support system in place. I did have my best friend who warned me that you really have to want to breastfeed to be successful and was helpful during the day. But I didn't have anyone to cry to and ask, "Is this normal? Am I doing this right?" at 3 in the morning. It was scary flying solo. I shed many tears of concern with Sam at the breast.
I must say this (you will see this over and over) I have a very supportive family. My in laws and my own family support me in everything that I do. But even with their support, I felt their worry about Sam and whether or not he was getting enough to eat. I was also very touchy about breastfeeding. If anyone said anything that could be possibly be interpreted in anyway as a negative about my breastfeeding I wanted to explode. If my husband even whispered the words "supplement" or "formula" I took it as a personal attack to my milk supply. I felt very alone. So I turned to Google and my breastfeeding books. Google is an amazing resource for breastfeeding info. As you know, everything you ever wanted to know about any subject is available on Google and it is probably what got you to my site. I probably googled breastfeeding over 2000 times during the first two weeks. One book that I found incredibly helpful was Breastfeeding Made Simple Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PH.D.,IBCLC. This book answered many questions and made me feel validated as a breastfeeding mother. Their book made me feel really good about what I was doing and how I was doing it.
A website that calmed me in my darkest hour was,
The other thing I was looking for was for someone to say, "You are doing such a great job with breastfeeding." (the way I feel love the most is from words of affirmation, but that is a whole other post) No one really ever said that to me and I needed to hear it so badly. So, there I was tired, scared, lonely, and feeling a little sorry for myself.
Then the best day ever came! It was Sam's two week check up. I nervously undressed him so he could be weighed. I couldn't wait to see if I had been a good mommy. My husband and I handed him to the nurse and followed her down the hall to the scale and watched anxiously as she laid him down to be weighed. Then the great news came! He had gained almost two pounds since we left the hospital! The nurse turned to me and said, "Wow! Good job Mommy!". I had to hold myself back from hugging and telling her how I had waited for someone to say those simple words to me. Instead I just looked at my husband and gave a little "you see, they work great!!" smirk.
If you are reading this and it is 3 in the morning and your feeling scared and alone...You are doing a great job!! You are giving your baby the best!! This too shall pass!! You look amazing!! Kiss your baby on the head!! I know how you feel!! Sam is now 6 weeks old and it was totally worth it. Don't give up!! Give it 40 days. I promise it gets better!!