Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda…

This week’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic is Breastfeeding Guilt.

Breastfeeding and guilt. I don’t know of a mom who breastfed that doesn’t have some guilt about it. My guilt is from the first few days of E’s life. We didn’t have a smooth start to our nursing relationship. It was filled with issues that should have been apparent to me, even as a first time mom.

Long story short, E was very dehydrated due to latch issues not being diagnosed. He had brick dust in his diaper, was sleeping a lot, and barely having any soiled diapers. He lost almost a pound after birth. The hospital LC was not helpful and it was almost 4 days before we realized something was wrong. He probably should have gone to the hospital. We had a newborn photo session shortly before Christmas when he was about 2 weeks old. I can’t even look at those pictures because they take me back to that time and he looks so tiny and thin. I feel sick to my stomach when I think that I could have done something to hurt my sweet baby. In fact, I’m pretty nauseous as I write this because of the feelings that are being dredged up.

So yeah, I have a lot of guilt regarding the start of our breastfeeding adventure together. We’ve obviously come past it and are still nursing 16 months later. He is a happy, healthy toddler who consistently hits his developmental milestones, but is a little on the thin side. His 15 month well child pediatrician visit was earlier today and his weight has come up about 2 pounds in 3 months. He is low on the percentile chart (I don’t believe the pediatrician uses WHO growth charts for breastfed babies), but he is doing great on his own little curve that was plotted for us. The doctor doesn’t seem concerned as long as he stays on his curve. I think I’ll always be a little concerned. As I told the doctor earlier today, I’m his mother. He can be 30 years old and weigh 200 pounds, and I would still be worried about his weight.

The Certified Lactation Educator class I’m taking is teaching me so much that will carry over to subsequent pregnancies and breastfeeding future babies. When #2 comes around, I’ll know to really monitor those wet and soiled diapers during the first days of life. I’ll know that a baby should not go more than a few hours without eating. All I can do is learn from my experience, right?

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10 thoughts on “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda…

  1. I'm sorry that those first few days were so hard and that you still find it hard to think about. It's so easy to say “I should have known”, but as a new Mummy there is so much to get your head around. I'm so glad you are finding the classes positive and that your little one is doing well now xx

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  2. Awww, just reading this gave me that awful nervous, nauseous feeling in my belly. I remember those early days and how hard breastfeeding was and how I felt like I was doing it wrong, starving her, etc. I remember feeling so relieved when we finally got help with our issues, she started CLEARLY drinking and getting full and passing out all happy and drunk. And just the fact that we're both still nursing shows we're doing it RIGHT and nothing to feel guilty about anymore! 🙂

    That is so cool that you're doing lactation training – I would love to do that. Rock on!

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  3. You are doing more than learning from your experience – you are teaching others! I am amazed by you taking this CLE class. You're awesome.

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  4. You're absolutely right, there's so much to take in in those first few days! It's easy to forget that looking back 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. That relieved feeling was incredible! And the first time he was milk drunk, I cried because I was so happy to be doing it right. So glad someone else gets it. Thank you for your sweet comment, Lara!

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  6. That is very brave of you to hang in there despite the rocky start. Congratulations for still going strong at 16 months, that is awesome!

    If you ever want to, you can always access the WHO growth charts yourself & print out your own copy. You could chart your son's progress yourself if that would help ease your mind.

    Good luck with your CLE class!

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  7. Thank you Laura! I read another article regarding WHO growth charts and breastfeeding mama who had an experience similar to mine. She tracked her baby on the WHO charts and the percentiles shot up from 15% to 50%! That's HUGE! I will definitely do that this weekend.

    Thanks for stopping by and for your support!

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  8. Congratulations on 16 months and going! We just cleared 13 months with no
    Signs of stopping soon.

    Looks as though guilt has got you bogged down but it has its place because you wouldn't have persevered so strongly if it weren't for the 'bad' stuff! Again, congrats!

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  9. 13 months is fantastic! I remember clearing a year and thinking, okay goal has been met. Everything from that point on was an added bonus. Have the toddler acrobatics started?

    Well, the topic that week was breastfeeding guilt 😉 Writing this post was pretty cathartic and gave me some closure. I have moved past most of it but like you said, I wouldn't still be nursing if it wasn't for the bad stuff! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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