Friday, April 27, 2012

sometimes breastfeeding bites


The first time Levi bit me was during my initial milk supply drop about two months ago.  After drinking some raw milk the five days of uncontrollable vomiting that followed threw everything out of whack.  It was on my left breast and it happened right as he latched on, it hurt but I had read it could “damage” the breastfeeding relationship to scream (looking back it was bad advise and I scream now), so I gritted my teeth.  He broke the skin.  It took about 3 days of delaying feeding on that side as long as possible and going shirtless, but it eventually healed.

Right at nine months he did it again on my other side.  An expert I contacted said it seemed like it was his attempt to boost my flow for a possible growth spurt.  After reading that many women experienced this right at nine months, I realized she was right.  He eats solids all day long.  He can’t get enough food or milk for all of the energy he is burning through discovering this new and thrilling world.

This time, he bit half way through my nipple.  It was an intense pain that radiated through my soul.  It angered me, but I bit my lip. This would heal, just like the other side.  My doctor's assistant, the triage nurse, a pharmacist, my mother, my husband and a friend ALL told me it was, “time to stop doing that”.  My husband retracted his statement and said he just hated seeing me hurt like this. The more I heard this, the more determined I became. 

“Just pump and give him a bottle”, is an alright idea, IF the pump didn’t do the same thing his mouth did, SUCK my wound back open.   Also, Levi refuses bottles like they are an insult (it makes me think the taste changes after freezing it).  Nothing is worse than pumping out my milk only to have him refuse it and then him still want to nurse. I swore I would only let that happen once!

It is becoming clear to me that my parenting really revolves around breastfeeding.  It is the best way to get Levi to be still, calm down, and sleep.  I feel like it is a best kept secret to parenting.  When people comment on how happy it is, I like to believe, it is all because he is a tit-baby! He gets several good naps in a day and always has a full belly, what more does a baby need?  As long as I can, I will continue to meet the needs of my baby in the most organic way possible.  This is an opportunity for me to experience and overcome some adversity so hopefully I can encourage more women to breastfeed!  It is teaching me to offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.  

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