If I knew then what I know now, Miguel Angel would have done much better from the beginning. My son was born at 9lbs 12oz at 39 weeks gestation. Thankfully, my doctor decided to induce early due to his size, if we would have gone any longer I ran the risk of C-section. Being a first time mom and without any family support I had not thought about how I was going to feed my baby. Skin to skin immediately after delivery helped me make the decision to Breastfeed.
During our stay at the hospital things seemed to flow easily. It was not until my nipples started to crack that I was concerned about breastfeeding and I had nobody to call for help. I was determined to breastfeed and continued to latch him on as often as I could trying to ignore the excruciating pain of cracked nipples and engorgement. As soon as the pain had started to diminish we began to experience symptoms of thrush and once again I did not know where to go or who to call for help; the pain continued for 3 weeks.
My friend Jacque came to visit from out of town. Jacque was a WIC nutritionist at the time who knew a thing or two about breastfeeding and was quickly able to see something was wrong. Immediately, I began treatment for thrush and after that Miguel and I were both experts in breastfeeding. I was a stay at home mom which allowed me to feed him on demand around the clock. Despite having postpartum blues and lack of support, I continued to do what felt right in my heart and that was to continue breastfeeding my son.
My son never took a bottle which in some cases can be a good thing; however, an emergency occurred in my family when Miguel was 3 months old. My father had back surgery and I needed to help care for him during his stay at the hospital. I had to my son in the care of my husband a few hours at a time and there was nothing to feed him or better yet he rejected all bottles. I remember we had a neighbor who was also breastfeeding her 6 month old daughter who we asked for help and thankfully she was more than willing to help. Besides the obstacles that we had, I do not regret my decision to breastfeed my son. He is a healthy young boy who rarely gets sick and our relationship is much stronger thanks to our breastfeeding experience.
I discontinued breastfeeding my son right before he turned one when I found out about my second pregnancy. I did not know it was okay to breastfeed during pregnancy and weaning him was very difficult because neither of us were ready. My daughter Brisa was born 16 months after Miguel. She latched on perfectly from the beginning, but our story also ended early because I only breastfeed her for 5 months due to my lack of knowledge. I felt like she was not getting enough because of her constant desire to be latched on. I gave up too easily and turned to formula too soon.
Now, as a WIC Nutritionist, I know more than i ever knew in the first years of my children's lives. I'm a big advocate for breastfeeding and never lose the opportunity to talk to a mother who is pregnant about the importance of making an informed decision about breastfeeding.