Parenting Questions: Breastfeeding

Posted at 7:35 AM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 08:35:45-05

Kaitlyn Trahan is an advocate for breastfeeding, but she admits it was not easy. In fact, sometimes she felt like giving up.

"That second week is when I felt like giving up," Trahan started. "My husband had to push me through it. I was in my bed feeding and crying. She would latch and I would take a breath in and out and I just had to push through it."

Trahan said it did not matter how much she wanted to breast feed, it was the support around her that kept her going.

"My husband was on board with it," Trahan said. "That was a big part of it. He knew how bad I wanted to do it, and we had that conversation of not giving up. He coached me through it. He would ask if he could get me anything and asked what he could do to help."

That support is something Paula McRae said is vital to success.

"The fewer restrictions we put on it and the fewer roadblocks the more likely they'll be to breast feed," McRae, a registered nurse and International Board Certified Lactation consultant with Women's and Children's, said.

McRae added that it also takes practice.

"The baby has been sucking for months on its fingers before birth and swallowing amniotic fluid," McRae explained. "If baby has some suck patterns that don't work very well for nursing, then baby has to relearn how to suck. He has the rooting and sucking reflex but he has to figure out that, 'When I latch like this and suck like this I get milk and when I do it like this and pinch mama, she's taking the breast away and I have to re-latch and I don't get milk.'"

McRae said once baby and mama learn one another, remember those things take time, feedings will become second nature.

"To the baby the reward of the milk is everything," Mcrae said. "They know go here, do this, and get milk. Mama suddenly realizes we're latching without thinking about it."

Once that happens, Trahan said, the bond you from with your baby is everything.

"I feel like it was so much easier for me to bond with my first then with my second because all of my attention was on her," Trahan explained. "I'm thankful for the breastfeeding the second time around because it's a huge bonding experience for me and the baby. It was with Maple, my first born, but with the second I feel like it was our time. The bonding is what kept me going, especially in the beginning."