Mission Possible: Breastfeeding


When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I knew nothing. NOTHING. I hadn’t been around babies in many, many years. I had no nieces, nephews or cousins to “practice” with. I had no friends with babies. I was going into this motherhood thing completely and totally blind. My husband was no help. To be honest, I’m not sure he even knew what a baby was…much less how to care for one.

During my pregnancy, I wasn’t concerned with childcare, labor and delivery, or early childhood development. I was never concerned about my pregnancy, just attended my regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments and took them at their word when they told me everything was going fine. For some reason though, I was obsessed with the idea of breastfeeding. It was my sole mission. It was the only class I took, the only thing I read about and it was something I was fanatically committed to from the very beginning. I went into the delivery room armed with a ton of book knowledge, a fantastic lactation consultant and most importantly, the support of my husband.

With my first-born.

My daughter’s delivery was slightly more traumatic than I would have hoped and it left both her and myself exhausted. She was also jaundiced and required phototherapy at home for 48 hours. I struggled in the hospital to learn how to comfortably hold baby to breast and tried my hardest to latch and re-latch her to achieve the painless latch everyone tells you about, as long as you’re doing it right. Because of the jaundice she was sleepy, and we spent almost as much energy trying to wake her to eat as we did learning how to nurse.

Once home, and away from the watchful eye and helpful hands of lactation consultants and nurses, I quickly realized I was in over my head. I was in pain, totally exhausted, my daughter often inconsolable, and because of the jaundice, her pediatrician wanted us to supplement her feedings with formula in order to push fluids through her tiny body.

I felt like a failure. It was the ONLY thing I was committed to and at only a few days old, I had already failed my daughter. I called the hospital where I delivered and asked for some time with the lactation consultant and they were quick to help me out. I waited for the LC in an empty delivery room. She arrived to find me, a mess of tears and emotions while fumbling with this floppy, cranky, seemingly uncooperative child. She spent time with me, positioned my daughter for me and gave me something you can’t pay for: information without emotion. I was fine. My daughter was fine. We were doing fine…we were both still learning and no one said it would be easy. If her doctor wanted me to supplement with formula to resolve the jaundice, it was fine, it wouldn’t ruin my breastfeeding journey.

It was still difficult for some time. I still had times of pain, probably due to laziness on both our parts. I ended up finding a nursing position that worked best for us, and ignored what the books said. I never mastered nursing in public, but that’s ok. I could pump and she’d take a bottle with no problem. She woke at night to eat until she was almost 13 months old but my daughter thrived and our breastfeeding journey lasted for 12 months and 2 weeks, when she self-weaned. I loved almost every minute of it, and I was sad when she weaned while at the same time feeling relieved to have my body back.

With my youngest daughter.

When our youngest daughter was born, I was thrilled to start the breastfeeding journey again. This time, however, I felt like an old pro. Almost immediately after she was born, I put her to my breast, she latched on perfectly and began to nurse. The nurse in our room encouraged my husband to snap a picture, and it’s one of my favorites. I’m so proud the confidence and knowledge I gained the first time around allowed me to almost immediately nurse my newest babe. This time around, I knew what positions worked for me and what didn’t. If I felt pain at all, it was minimal. I also mastered nursing in public this time since her older sister wasn’t about to sit at home all the time so mama could nurse! I’m proud to say, our breastfeeding journey lasted for her first year until she, too, pushed me away one day.

I love breastfeeding. I love the relationship, the bonding and for me, the ease and simplicity of always having food available. I’m so glad I stuck with it the first time around. There were many, many, MANY times I wanted to quit, but once I set my mind to something, I’m pretty committed. Breastfeeding has been a huge accomplishment for me and I’m proud of it!

My Tips for Breastfeeding Success

  • Your spouse/partner must be on board 100%…they are your biggest cheerleader.
  • Make sure your spouse/partner reads the books and attends any breastfeeding classes you attend. They need to understand the process, the benefits and what’s happening to your body!
  • Arm yourself with knowledge, but don’t be afraid to go with your gut if something isn’t working for you.
  • Modesty and learning to breastfeed don’t mix. The nurses and LC’s have seen it all and heard it all. Now is NOT the time to be shy…you’re learning so ask those embarrassing questions.
  • There are TONS of breastfeeding resources available. If you’re committed and find yourself struggling in your breastfeeding journey, please reach out for help before giving up!


  1. Thank you for sharing this! For us, breastfeeding was easy-peasy with my first, who also self-weaned around 12 months. With the second, it’s been a bit more challenging (only five weeks in), but having such a positive experience the first time has made me more determined and knowledgeable about sticking with it.

    • Hi Tiffany! Thank you for your support! Feeding baby #2 has a whole new set of issues since you’re still trying to occupy #1! There is definitely an adjustment period. I agree, without the knowledge gained the 1st time around, my 2nd attempt may have been in jeopardy!

    • HA! I don’t read on the treadmill, but only because I have trouble staying upright without other distractions! I have nightmares about falling and being thrown into the machines behind me. I have an over-active imagination. Thanks for reading!

  2. Great blog, Roomie! Perfect timing as I am about 2 weeks out from delivering our first bundle of joy. I am nervous, but committed to breast feeding! I’ve known many who have struggled, but it’s always nice to hear more and more success stories and know that there is support out there when needed! Oh, to only have our college worries back! 😉


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