Breastfeeding Sans Chocolate
It's national breastfeeding month so I wanted to share my experience as a breast feeding mama. This journey has been a beautiful one and I hope to continue to breastfeed till my little one is a about a year.
Being a solely breast feeding mama has its challenges. I love breast feeding my baby. The long list of benefits for her and for me are enough to help me stick to it despite the bumps in the road.
Photo Credit: Rachel Negron, The Digital Latina
When baby girl was about three months old, we came across bloody stool in her diaper. I freaked out, called her doctor who scheduled an appointment for the next day. After seeing our pediatrician, I was ordered to go straight to the ER. He believed it could be intususception, a disorder that causes one side of the intestines to slide and stick to another part of the intestine. NOT GOOD. Thankfully, after a sonogram, intususception was ruled out.
A follow up with a gastroenterologist, narrowed down the culprit to an allergic reaction to cow's milk. It's actually common for babies to have an allergy to cow's milk and I was told I had to cut down or rid my diet of dairy completely.
Needless to say, I was a mess. I was so scared and full of guilt. Although my breast milk was not causing her pain, I couldn't help but believe I had done something wrong. I was so discouraged I even stopped pumping.
Feeling discouraged, I reached out to the local La Leche League for answers. Karen of La Leche League responded quickly and reassured me that everything was going to be ok She advised me to continue breastfeeding and so I did. Karen was there for me and I'm so grateful to her for that. I was worried about doing the right thing. With Karen's help, and the encouragement and support of other breastfeeding moms, I was able to pull through that rough time and continue breastfeeding.
I cut dairy and soy (just to be safe) out of my diet. It took a lot of planning and work but I did it. It was a sacrifice worth making for my baby. Although I miss chocolate and ice cream, and cheese... Oh, cheese.... I'm still dairy and soy free to this day.
My little one is almost 8 months now. I cannot believe we're still going strong in the BF department. I hope to continue. Breastfeeding has taught me to love and care for my body in ways I never knew. I eat healthy and read package labels. I've learned to include more veggies in my diet. I've discovered cool foods like squash spaghetti! It has also taught me to pause and appreciate the quiet moments even if they are sans chocolate.
If you're thinking of breastfeeding your baby or are currently breastfeeding and feel discouraged, reach out to your local LLL. They are there to support moms like you!
Believe me, they're wonderful.
Let's chat: Are you a breastfeeding Mom? Share your experience in the comments! I would love to hear how you are doing.