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Brennan's Story

I don't know why I decided that I was going to breastfeed my child. I guess mainly because I refused to spend money on formula!! I mean, why spend money when you can get something for free???

The company I work for has a wonderful program for pregnant parents -- Nursing Mother's meetings, prenatel classes, on-site Health Services department and a reference library. This enabled me to become very educated about breastfeeding.

When Brennan was born, he latched right on. My nurse said, "Oh, you'll have no problem!" Which of course boosted my ego!! He was a great nurser right from the start. I started pumping at home when he was three weeks old. I would nurse him on one breast (the left -- I guess he liked it because it was bigger) and pump the other one and freeze the milk. That way if I wanted to run out to the mall or someplace, I could just grab a bottle for him. This also allowed my husband to share in the bonding process. I used the Avent bottles which have a longer nipple and he had no confusion at all (though he did look at me a little weird the first time I gave him one!)

I went back to work when Brennan was 13 weeks old. My company has these industrial strength pumps -- if the milk is in there, these things will get it out!! They give each mom their own sterile kit and you just bring that with you each time you go over to pump. They have nice quiet rooms with the cushioned glider rockers and tons of stuff to read. I went twice a day and it worked out great. I was never embarrased about what I was leaving to do because I knew that this was the best thing for my child. Only once did someone ask me where I was going -- so I told her -- it was funny some of the questions she asked me!!

I had to stop nursing Brennan at 11 months because I was in a car accident and had hurt my back. I needed to take muscle relaxers for the pain. Also, I think that he was sensing that I was in pain and was uncomfortable. It was a rough process (for both of us), but we made it through. Now Brennan is a happy, very healthy 15 month old. He drinks whole milk out of a sippy cup, but likes it warmed up in the morning.

I enjoyed breastfeeding so much that on September 15th I start training to be a Nursing Mom's counselor. I can't wait!!!!! All of my friends call me with questions anyway, so I figured, what the heck, I might as well help other people out also.

I think that everone should at least try breastfeeding -- you don't want to miss out on this experience!

Kirsten C. O'Quinn

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