Sunday, August 3, 2014

// a d v e n t u r e s i n b r e a s t f e e d i n g - d a n a 's s t o r y //

 The next Adventures in Breastfeeding is from Dana.  When I received her story and looked her up on instagram I instantly fell in love with her photos.  I think it's great to hear so many stories of nursing through pregnancy and tandem nursing.  It can be extremely difficult, but more than possible.  It's a choice, for sure.  But like Dana mentions in her story, laying down to nurse while pregnant can give a much needed break.  <3  Thank you for sharing your story, Dana! 

I am a mama of two. Balthazar Mundzuk, three and  a half years old, and Alba Fauna Cassiopeia, twenty months old. When she was born, he was as old as she is now. During my pregnancy with Mun I read Ina May Gaskin´s books and became inspired and determined about wanting to homebirth and breastfeed. His joyful birth was an amazing, highly spiritual, uplifting and empowering experience. He latched on almost immediately and all was smooth until the third day, when my milk “came down”. My breasts where so big and full of milk that it was very hard for him to get a proper latch, and my nipples became cracked and sore. After this small crisis, in which a small manual pump that would pull my nipple out before he latched helped a lot, all was very smooth and happy and he grew beautifully on exclusive breastmilk for a year. He did begin to try solid foods at about six months but was never very interested in food at this point and always preferred his Mama Milk.
A couple of days after Mun´s first birthday we found out we were expecting our second. He continued to nurse regularly but my supply decreased dramatically. Here there was a crisis because there was a period of adaptation for him to begin to really eat some food and nurse less. During this period he seemed to try and try to get more milk out but there simply wasn´t much in there! It was frustrating and emotional for me to not be able to nourish him as I always had, but we soon got to a point in which he was eating more and nursing became just a going to sleep ritual.
As I grew bigger expecting my girl, nursing actually seemed to make things easier for me, because it gave me a chance to lay down and rest sometimes during the day. It was very exhausting to run after my toddler while heavily pregnant. We napped together a lot which was so nice.  When I was in the trance of Alba´s homebirth, “riding the waves” of the contractions, I nursed my boy to sleep which brought a big, very intense wave.
When Alba was born Mundzuk had to adapt to this new ´ having to share mummy´ thing, but he was very pleasantly surprised to have “rivers” of milk flowing again. I tandem nursed them for a year, and then I weaned him because it became too much for me. It was a little bit hard for him but he was two years and eight months by then and adapted very soon. At this point I was only nursing him to sleep at night and naptimes and he had to learn to fall asleep with stories and cuddles. I remember energetically feeling  like a second time giving birth. What I mean is that I felt him separate from my body, like he became a little less an extension of my own body. It was emotional and beautiful to learn to fill him with love without giving him the breast.

Fast forward to now, Opia (what she likes to call herself) is still a very avid nurser, I absolutely love the time spent snuggled up with her nursing and to any new or expecting mamas I say, breastfeeding is no doubt the best option for your child and for your own convenience. I know for different reasons it may be difficult but I tell you, it is so worth it. On an extra note, we are not supporters of traditional occidental medicine and vaccines, and I strongly feel that breastfeeding is a very big way to help children grow healthy.

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