Celebrating Black Breastfeeding Week!
In celebration of the 5th year of Black Breastfeeding Week, I've decided to share some stories from some pretty amazing ladies that I know. Today I'm starting with one of the most badass breastfeeding queens that I know. Here is Taye's story. Be sure to follow her blog also (link seen in second photo)
When I first saw those lines on the stick I KNEW I wanted to breastfeed. So I started looking up every it of info I could find. I even grilled a good friend about what to do if I ended up having low supply. Actually I grilled her about everything.
Everything except OVERSUPPLY. You know, when a mama makes more than a good bit more milk than her baby can drink.
Doesn't really seem like I'd call it a problem, right? An abundant excess of freely flowing milk, readily available to fill my little ones tummy is what I should be aiming for, right? Especially when an entire market exists for moms who don't make even enough?
Well, if you dont count the engorgement and constant need to either hand express before baby nurses OR having to pump when he doesn't! On a slow day, I pump between 40 and 45 ounces. That's a LOT. I max out at 60. All of this even as my 16-month-old still nurses pretty much all day. At this point I thought I 0could retire my flanges until the next baby, but I can't sleep unless I empty the b'reservoirs at least once a night. This means that even though my baby sleeps all night, I do not. I also cannot in good conscience leave the house without at least my manual pump and several bags or bottles to catch the liquid gold. I lug around that pump bag faithfully.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining a bit. The freezer stash is extra nice, as is the ability to freely experiment with all things breastmilk. My husband and I have made ice cream, soap, smoothies, and even soothing baths and lotions for our son, all using that liquid gold.
The oversupply IS painful though. I have forceful letdowns. I still have to wear breast pads. I still get engorged, even though my son is a toddler and our routine is very established. I've had mastitis and clogged ducts. It's been a roller coaster! All of this plus knowing I'll probably have it (oversupply) again!
But I would not trade it. My son is healthy and thriving. He has only been ill enough for a sick-child doctor visit once. Despite the discomfort (which is mild compared to the sticker shock I got when I investigated formula prices!), I look forward to breastfeeding all my future children as well. Breastfeeding is natural, but no one ever said it was easy. Thanks to some good information, solid encouragement, and some very well-researched lactation consultants, it was possible.