July 23, 2012

Thoughts on Breastfeeding

I have another wonderful blogger for you today!  Please give Rheanna a warm Many Waters welcome (in the form of lots of comments!)  She’s going to share some thoughts on breastfeeding with us. I found her words to be encouraging and I hope you do too!


Hi everyone, my name is Rheanna and I blog at Cammo Style Love.  I'm an Air Force wife, married in August of 2004. I havecammostylelovebutton52-3 three children and we are now East Coasters! I'm a SAHM that likes to watching black and white movies, reading books and crocheting. I'm a total history nerd, which makes living in the greater DC Metro Area a dream come true! I'm also a mom that struggled with breastfeeding.

You know, you dream of having your kids. You think of their names, what they might look like and just how much fun a little snuggly baby is. I did all those things. I thought of how my pregnancy would go, what my delivery would be like and how I would breastfeed. Being an all natural mama wasn't my thing. I appreciated those that went natural in their childbirth, but it wasn't a conviction I had. For Bernard-1the most part that wasn't an issue. Of course, as with all things people felt the need to tell me how they felt and that was fine. I spent time being totally annoyed internally but whatever, to each his own and I tried not to let it bother me. Breastfeeding on the other hand was something that was important to me. It was a conviction and I totally expected everything to be fine. I heard plenty of things about how its wonderful and how good it is for the baby, breast is best, formula is evil and the like. Stuff I'm sure everyone has probably heard. What I didn't hear was the struggles people have. People had told me that they didn't like it, or they didn't want to, but NO ONE spent any kind of time talking about it being a struggle to do.

And then it was. I had inverted nipples, which made latch hard. Not just hard, but HAAAARRRDDD! It hurt, it bled, I cried it was horrible. I kept hearing over and over in my head, "if you're doing it right it won't hurt." And so the downward spiral began. I was doing it wrong, I couldn't do it, what was I doing. Do you see all those "I's" in there? It was a Rheanna Beat Down. Bawling my eyes out in the hospital from exhaustion, and emotions and frustration, was not how I imagined that I would be spending my time post baby.

So, I forfeited. It was only a partial forfeit, but in my head it was a complete one. A failure, that's what I was. All those people that had made their opinions known before I had my son, were there now making those same opinions known loud and clear. And why I could only hear them when I had other people that were so loving to me, including my dear sweet husband, I have no idea. It isn't until you have an issue that you suddenly meet people and learn that other people you know have had that same issue! I couldn't believe it and I began to get slightly more encouraged. We weren't alone out there. I ended up going 100% formula when Brian was about two months old. Fast forward about two years to baby number two. Again, I heard the normal "opinions" being shared. It was easier this time around, but still hard. I got a super de duper pump and pumped and pumped. A friend also shared fenugreek with me.
I made it six months! Even still, the things people say will never cease to amaze me. I still believe that most of the mean words came from a place of total ignorance. They don't know, they've never been
there. If they were or had been, they might have kinder and gentler words to say. If you can believe it I actually had people say to me, "Well, you weren't trying hard enough." Those words just cut me to to the quick. One of my all time favorite things was when someone said, "I just can't imagine how God could let that happen?" In reference to my inability to feed my child. Do I really have to argue this point?

Now baby number 3 is 7 months and I'm still breastfeeding more than 50% of the time. I know that I could have done it 100% of the time if I didn't let the stress of things get to me. This time I combined fenugreek with the amazing Mother's Milk tea and saw a huge improvement in my milk supply! I was more focused and dedicated. It hurt less when I started out, which helped. Most importantly I was strong within myself. I really could care less what anyone has to say. I still get a little mad and frustrated when I hear people say stupid things, but it doesn't get me down. Spending my time talking about breastfeeding in a "realistic and encouraging way" has become a focus for me. We have to stick together. Being uplifting and encouraging, and circling the wagons if you will, is the way to be as far as I'm concerned. Maybe the thing isn't the breastfeeding, or the natural childbirth, or the epidural or the formula. Maybe its the fact that women, and mother's have become so divisive. We aren't supportive or encouraging. The rise of the Green Movement and stores like Whole Foods, and the trendiness of it all and the "coolness" of it has, in my ever humble opinion, made things worse. Instead of just letting people be responsible for themselves, everyone is in everyone else's business.

If someone feels strongly about something they feel the need to not only act upon this for themselves but shove it down every one else's throat. You find it in everything - anti formula, anti-disposables, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, natural child birth, healthy eating, no parabens. Its become crazy! Instead of focusing on what brings us together, our children, we've become too focused on all those other things and are becoming more and more at odds with each other. The other day I heard a lady going on and on about cloth diapers and how its so much better for baby because of the toxins and the chemicals and all that good stuff. Found out later, she never breastfed and didn't want to. Fine by me, you do what you want to do. But it was the way she said it. She was so focused on the lecture of chemicals in the diapers that it was confusing to someone who had heard the lecture of the evils of formula. I’m cloth diapering, and I had been turned off by it for so long by theBernard Family-21 lectures and the intensity of people that I never even wanted to spend time looking at it. It was the kind, loving, every day normal conversations with a dear friend that led me to make the change to cloth. It was the kind and loving words of my husband and another friend that helped me keep trying the breastfeeding with each baby.

I am proud to say that I am a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, baby wearing mama who goes to McDonalds and has a slight addiction to Dr. Pepper. But shouldn't that be okay? Should that divide me from other mother's? If I could wish for one thing for the world, in my most Miss Teen USA voice and with my most beauty pageant-esque smile....I would wish for mother's to band together! To support each other in motherhood. To help each other out with the struggles of raising kids, with working through the different phases. To help each other get through the tough seasons in life when you don't think your children will every sit still and behave! That's what I wish!

If you every have any questions or what to learn more about struggling with breastfeeding and/or cloth diapering come over to Cammo Style Love or email me at cammostylelove@yahoo.com


  1. so true!! i had a horrible time with #1and #2...but 3 and 4 were each bf 100% for a year! what a difference truth and knowledge and encouragement can make. :)

  2. I breastfed my daughter for 6 months, but near the end of that time, I was only breastfeeding her in the mornings. My supply was down because I was stressed out about trying to lose the pregnancy weight. My parents were really hard on me. My father is a former body builder and drill sergeant. Need I say more? Next time I would like to breastfeed longer. I wish more people were supportive of breastfeeding mothers, and I wish people wouldn't believe the myth that if you breastfeed, the weight you gained while pregnant just flies off. That may work for some, but not everyone. I gained weight while breastfeeding. I was so HUNGRY!

  3. This post is so sweet! Thank you for sharing and I agree we need to be supportive of each other!

  4. This is a great post! I am sooo thankful breastfeeding came easy to us, but I know some people have issues. I'm thankful that formula can be out there for those who need it.

  5. I like this post! When you think about it, when you see a 4th grade classroom, you will not know which child in there was breastfed, cloth-diapered, worn, or fed organic foods since 6 months old. The "mommy wars" are obnoxious, as what works for one family doesn't always work for another! I also had issues with breastfeeding in the early days, so I commend you for working through it with each child. And also for realizing when it wasn't working and doing what was right for you at the time!

  6. This is a great post! I had my son a year ago and we struggled from the beginning! The doctor that I took him to was very pro formula and just told me to give him formula and a bottle as my son was slow to gain. I was therefore nursing my son, then giving him a bottle and then pumping! It was a viscous cycle and I felt like I was constantly feeding him! At three months, the doctor told me to stop breastfeeding and to just give him formula! I told him okay, but continued to breastfeed, but everytime we gave my he son formula he would vomit all of the formula up! When I went back to the doctor, he said "I thought you were going to stop breastfeeding"...I was appalled at his response and went home that day and stopped all the formula and strictly breastfed my son....he just turned a year old and he is strictly breastfed still to this day! :) It was really hard and draining, but I wanted him to be breastfed and I was tired of everyone telling me what to do! I proved them all wrong! :) I like you, did feel so alone as no one ever talked about how hard it was....I let everyone of my friends know that I am here for them when they have babies because I don't want anyone to feel like I did! :) My son is still on the small side and he nurses and eats solids....guess the doctor like chunky babies these days and he is not ever going to be one of those! :) This is why our society is overweight...the doctors all want our little ones to be chunky! We did end up choosing a different pediatric practice to take him to and we could not be happier! :)


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