Breastfeeding a Premature Baby: My Story

By the time O’arien Patrick had been home for a couple weeks, we were still having great feeds, but I started to notice he wanted to nurse all the time. It made me feel as if I wasn’t satisfying him or question if I was doing things correctly. I would start the “mommy worries” (as I call them) but I would still give him the breast if I noticed any cues like finger sucking, rooting, fussiness, etc.

It got to the point where I wanted to call the doctor and take him in for a visit. At the doctor, I was told he was healthy, his growth chart was climbing at a steady rate and he was producing the appropriate number of poo and pee nappies. Basically, he was A-OK; he just wanted breast.

As a mother, I wasn’t OK with not knowing the reason he wanted to be latched all the time. So, I took it upon myself to research, research, research.

That is when I learned that babies frequently feed for many different reasons, not only because of hunger.

Some of them include: comfort (comfort feeds – just simply being closer to Mama); your baby is learning (the more practice you both have, the better you both get); your baby could be in pain or have discomfort (oxytocin is a hormone produced when you breastfeed, also known as the love hormone); your baby could just be thirsty or tired.

The one that stands out to me the most because it is absolutely amazing is that your baby could be getting sick or already sick, and just breastfeeding your baby provides them with immunity and antibiotics to fight off any illnesses. If your baby is already sick, a whole day at your breast is you giving your baby the necessities to get better.

Nothing is better than Mama’s warm milk and body when they start feeling icky.

I have learned so much in just almost five short months. Every baby has been a different experience for me. Through everything, I’m proud to say we have made it to today and we will be working on our tomorrow.

Breastfeeding is not an easy task so to all mothers who have made it a day breastfeeding I want to congratulate you and my prayers are with you and your children and the experience.

Angelia Allen is 33 years old. Her son’s name is O’arien Patrick and he will be 6 months old on the 5th October. They are still going strong exclusively breastfeeding. This is the first of her four boys that she has exclusively breastfed for this long. Her goal is to exclusively breastfeed until 12 months.

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