My interest in breastfeeding began a long time before I was even married, so I thought that now is a good time to write a follow-up post on how we are doing in this area.
The first three days of my baby's life, a time most important to establishing breastfeeding, were spent in the hospital. My baby remained with me most of the time, and I tried to nurse her as much as possible, We had some problems with latch at first, but a brief counseling with a lactation consultant helped a lot.
At first, it was difficult for me to tell whether the baby is actually getting something, but I knew that during the first couple of days, I only have colostrum - which is priceless in its health benefits but isn't supposed to come in large quantities. Then on the day of our discharge, we were on our way home and I felt my breasts becoming increasingly fuller with every minute. By the time we reached home, my shirt was soaked through and I hurried to feed the baby.
Ever since, I have continued to leak on myself, my clothes, my bed, the baby, and anything that gets in the way. I use nursing pads but sometimes they get out of place when I sleep. I also leak "on the other side" during feedings.
On average, little Shira will nurse every 2-3 hours, but she doesn't have a rigid schedule. Sometimes she'll have a "nursing marathon" of every 1-1,5 hours, usually during the day, and sometimes she'll sleep 4-5 hours straight - at night, I welcome this as you can imagine, but during the day sometimes I wake her to feed if I feel I'm about to burst with milk.
We got her weighed last week, and so far, she's growing beautifully. I hope we can keep this up and nurse for a long time. Did you know that in Judaism, a woman is considered "nursing" until the child is two years old? Most women these days wean much earlier, but I thought it's nice to remember.
I love nursing. It's convenient - no bottles to mix, heat and wash; baby's food is always readily available, perfectly fresh and at just the right temperature. And I feel I bond with my child in such a special way while feeding her like this.