I was convinced that breastfeeding would be straight forward – a no brainer. My mom was a La Leche League leader back in the day (but not one of the crazy ones, I swear) so she would be able to give me all sorts of answers, plus I read a ton of articles and books about it before Harley arrived. If there was one thing I knew, it was breastfeeding. Well, not really. So, in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, here’re all the things I’ve learned so far.
When Harley arrived so early, she wasn’t able to nurse. Sure, I’ve seen beautiful stories since with babies nursing while in the NICU, but Harley simply couldn’t. She didn’t really have a sucking reflex, had to be fed through a tube. Just learning how to suck, swallow and breathe as a cooperative activity took weeks. I was still so proud that I was able to pump for her while she was in the hospital, that I could give her milk and feed her and help her grow. It was sort of the only thing I could do for her while she was in there, and it made me feel useful, maternal. But things changed so much along our nursing journey.