Birth Experience

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about birth experiences and breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


So, I am a home birther. My birth experiences were long and painful and wonderful at the same time. I have been a labor and delivery nurse for a few years. You would think this would somehow prepare me for having my own kids. It didn't.

I was amazed to survive giving birth to my daughter. That was a lot more pain than I expected and a lot more pain than I thought I would live through. I kept thinking I was dying. Frankly, by the end, I was exhausted. I was probably not the best candidate for home birth just because I'm not the strongest person. I'm fairly whiney and like to be pampered. Plus, my kids were big babies.

But, I made it. With my daughter, I was so tired after that I could barely hold her. I had to hand her off to someone pretty quickly. I think that starting out exhausted really hampered my ability to breast feed. While I don't think that was the only cause of my problems, my exhaustion was so profound that when people started questioning if she was getting enough food, I worried a lot right along with them. I was too tired to really think straight and breastfeeding felt like a chore because I needed sleep so badly.

With my son, the opposite was true. Even though it was painful and he was even larger, I was better prepared. I took a hypnosis class and it helped some. In addition, just knowing the process and what was needed and telling myself to relax and sleep and the baby would be fine was so helpful. With my son, I was able to stick to my guns and breastfeeding was a wonderful bonding experience. I had tough times, but I weathered them better and really stuck in there. 

With my daughter, it was really a perfect storm of lack of sleep and being unprepared. With my son, it was the perfect storm of being prepared and getting rest. The two experiences were night and day. I can't say that my birth experiences were the single contributing factor to the success or failure of breastfeeding, but I can say that it played a role.

I do think that home birthing helps in a lot of ways, but I also see the benefit of sending the baby to the nursery and sleeping. I'm not really the kind of person who could do that though. For me, home birth was the best way to set me up for breastfeeding. It was also the best way to establish me as a parent. It was hard and amazing, just like breastfeeding. Just like being a parent.  


 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Category: Motherhood
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