Breastfeeding Multiple Children: How the Journey is Unique Each Time

Breastfeeding-Multiple-Children

Guest Post by Jennifer Dresher

As part of our National Breastfeeding Awareness series, we bring you Jennifer’s story of how unique the experience can be despite breastfeeding multiple children.

It is true that no two moms have the same exact experience but often that is true of each child a mom has. 

I hope this post is an encouragement to any mom who struggled with breastfeeding and is wondering if they will repeat that pattern with their next child. 

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your story with us!

Breastfeeding Multiple Children: How the Journey is Unique Each Time - Many moms want to know if the issues they faced Breastfeeding will carry over to their next child. Breastfeeding Multiple Children doesn't always mean issues with each! This moms story of breastfeeding 5 children and the struggles with each is a great example!

Breastfeeding Multiple Children: How the Journey is Unique Each Time

I do cry over spilled milk.

First, it was the milk leaking through my breast pads and shirt while trying to make it to the end of a long set of classes.

If I had only known the desire of mothers all over the world for healthy breast milk, I could have made a small fortune while nursing baby #1.

There are surely drawbacks to nursing.

Practicing restraint just sucks when another smiling face says how wonderful that your body is contracting like-it-did-when-birthing those first few days of nursing. Sure, it’s healthy and tightens your tummy and who doesn’t want that?!

When the world teaches us the breasts are supposed to be supple, soft, smooth, and smushy, I had a hard time figuring out WHERE THE #@$% THESE BOULDERS CAME FROM!

Rock hard and painful, I found solace in two ways:

1) Looking in the mirror. When your cup size is normally AA, and you see a nice round C in your reflection, enjoy the moment!

2) Nursing my precious baby. It is one of the strongest bonding experiences this life offers, and certainly comes in handy when you fall out of bed every two hours, “accidentally” waking your husband on the way out – for the sheer unfairness that he can’t take a shift with your exclusively nursing new one.

Baby #2 arrived, and I found another drawback: the baby does not understand bite = pain.

It was tolerable before the teeth, but this kid would NOT stop. I tried quite a few of the well-meant suggestions that appeared from every nook and cranny to no avail.

Around eight months, I was done cringing with pain at every latch and felt pride in the length of time we had managed.

Already on the brink of postpartum depression, I fell over the edge.  

Baby #3 caused the greatest heartache.

A sniffle turned into a cold, and the baby went on strike after just four months. My own baby rejected me!

Already on the brink of postpartum depression, I fell over the edge.  

I still wonder if someone had come along that I could relate to as a guide, or if WebMD and I had become BFFs, could I have convinced that baby to nurse again?

When baby #4 was due, I was armed with experience, the internet, a doting husband, and a strong determination to go past the One Year goal.

Whew! I ended up with an angel that time, conquered the initial sore weeks (thank you, GEL PADS), the boulders, the sleep deprivation, the funny looks in public…

This is just the first of many fleeting stages that seem to last FOREVER, then they’re over and it’s never long enough.

Seriously, when you have to run a few hours of errands with a nursing baby, just count on nursing in public.

Pull that cover over and do your best to whip out the gold while hanging onto your cover, pride, and sanity whilst baby thrashes about like a fish out of water.

If you’re really good, or lucky, you’ll do this before the baby reaches banshee-level wailing, inviting every eye in a nine-mile radius to turn your way.

Stare them down. I found that most effective. Don’t forget to smile, then finish your errands with a satiated baby. Grab a chocolate bar as a reward.

When you’re having a wonderful nursing experience, Soak It Up.

When you’re having a challenging time nursing, keep going.

This is just the first of many fleeting stages that seem to last FOREVER, then they’re over and it’s never long enough.

I’ve nursed five babies, hitting 26 months with the last one.

I finally spent real money on a decent pump, and made a mental note to share with all new mothers how imperative that cost is!

I was not working outside the home unless you count the taxi service, cheerleading, shopping, deliveries, and other endless demands of a normal family, but that pump was priceless.

An entire warm meal in my tummy because someone else fed the baby is priceless.

My nursing challenges gave me strength, but the memories are joy, warmth, pride, closeness, and wonder.

I cried over a spilled bottle then, and even now I catch my breath when a glass of dairy hits the table. It’s not easy to forget the sacrifice that goes into each ounce.

My nursing challenges gave me strength, but the memories are joy, warmth, pride, closeness, and wonder.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are simply AMAZING!


About the Author

My name is Jennifer, a trait shared with nearly 1.5 million people, just in the United States. My passions, not in order of importance: chocolate, husband, children, genealogy, more family, helping others, road trips, and starting great big impressive projects.

Finishing those projects is not always fun, so I often enlist my dear husband and children. This still allows me to claim credit for initiation, and for the idea itself. The children in our mine-his-ours family range from adult down to a strong-willed preschooler.  Reading between the lines, you might infer that I have learned how to deal with life’s challenges with great patience and calm. You could be wrong.  Why let the kids have all the fun? You can find me over at Dirt and Drama.


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