My Breastfeeding Journey

Side Note: I completely understand not everything I write is for everyone. If breastfeeding isn't your cup of tea I recommend skipping this post. With that said, I'm just shinning light on my story in hopes to maybe reach that one person needing encouragement. Thanks for reading this with an open mind. -Colleen

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed. My mom breastfed my sister + I and I always remember not thinking anything negative about breastfeeding. While this post is about breastfeeding, I am not putting down on any moms who decided to formula feed for whatever reason over breastfeeding. This is just my journey with it.

I went to class, I remember learning about the “breast crawl” and how babies just bob their head on your chest until they make it to the eating zone. I remember when my magical moment happened + while it was so cool both my kids did the same exact thing coming out of the womb, it was still painful. I'm so thankful I had my mom as a cheerleader because I remember crying for 5 weeks after having Ezra. Every time he would latch, it hurt so bad. But my mom kept encouraging me to push through it. Come to find out he had a lip tie which made it more difficult for him to feed. My goal was to breastfeed until Ezra was 2. This is from the World Health Organization, who recommends breast-feeding until 2 years of age + beyond. “Breast-milk is also an important source of energy and nutrients in children aged 6–23 months. It can provide half or more of a child’s energy needs between the ages of 6 and 12 months, and one third of energy needs between 12 and 24 months. Breast-milk is also a critical source of energy and nutrients during illness, and reduces mortality among children who are malnourished.”  click here

(Side note: mommas I highly recommend getting a friend or someone to take pictures of your breastfeeding journey! I remember feeling super awkward asking my good friend Liz to take these during our maternity pictures, but now I am forever grateful for them!)

I found out I was pregnant with Harvey when Ezra was 16 months old + I remember crying so hard because I’ve always heard your milk drys up once you become pregnant. I was not ready to quit breastfeeding. My doctor of course recommend I stop right away, but Im happy to report I successfully breastfed through my entire pregnancy. (Each person/pregnancy is different, always do what is best for you + recommended by a doctor or midwife) I won't lie though, it was hard. Around 18 months I weaned Ezra from night time feeding, because my nipples were so sensitive that I would have tears in my eyes each time he’d feed. During the day I could distract myself with something, but at night it would keep me up because I would be completely woken up for each feeding. Every doctor check up Harvey seemed fine in the womb so I decided after praying hard about it to keep trying until Ezra seemed not interested. Well, that day never came for Ezra. In the hospital after having Harvey I wasn’t sure how it was going to look having a newborn + a toddler. The lactation consultant told me to keep feeding Ezra especially during this transition time to help him cope with his new sibling. 

Not many, well anyone I personally know have experience with tandem breastfeeding, so I was very thankful for google! It wasn’t as hard of a transition as I expected! The lactation consultant recommended that I let Harvey eat first then let Ezra finish on that same side, so we knew HJ was getting as much as he wanted!

I thought Ezra would lose interest after his second birthday, my original goal…but that wasn’t the case! Ezra is 3 now + still asks about 4-5 times a week to breastfeed. Some times I can distract him with something else, but sometimes I can tell its just a true comfort need. People can be very judgmental to breastfeeding moms, because I think formula is just as popular of an option as breastfeeding. Breast-feeding is no walk in the park. It’s hard, painful, frustrating, time-consuming, etc., but it is so rewarding! I always encourage moms to stick it out for at least 6 weeks. The first 6 weeks are the worst, but then it normally gets easier from there! It’s really hard not to roll my eyes when I see others say comments like “she should cover up” or “doesn't she know I can see her boob”.. For real….. has anyone turned on the tv lately? Some commercials show more cleavage than a mom breastfeeding! I was so strict on myself when I had Ezra. I would retreat to the car, the bathroom, the other room, etc. But after Harvey I just became so relaxed with myself. Being at the beach last week I saw more boob than I have ever shown feeding my kids in public. 

Zach snapped this picture of an early morning feed for Ezra while on our beach trip.

Zach snapped this picture of an early morning feed for Ezra while on our beach trip.

At the end of the day we should be proud of ourselves for however long we choose to breastfeed + feel empowered by our bodies for being able to sustain life! It's a really magical gift! I know some will judge me for posting this on the internet, but my hope is it reaches that one mom struggling with everyone around her judging her! Keep your head up, feed your baby however you choose.. just feed your baby <3 

Lots of love,

Colleen Cashio