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by Toni LaVerne Mattox, Omaha, Nebraska

Russel was born in February, and I had an avalanche of colostrum the next day. I was in awe, and in pain. My 36A breasts measured DD. Maybe if my mother or grandmother had breastfed, I would have known it was hereditary but not even my sister did.

I was engorged for weeks, and used a moist heat pad on my chest, nursing as often as Russell would allow. Husband Ryan and I found “shared parenting” works best. He took some weeks off work, cooked and cleaned and took charge.

Ice-filled plastic bags soothed my sore mastitis-afflicted breasts; massage also helped. I didn’t have a fever, but my breasts were hot, sore, and swollen to the collar bone. I drank lots of fluid, took extra Vitamin C, and unfortunately got angry in the early days. Penicillin helped. Ryan microwaved wet washcloths for Russel and I (one minute or less) for comfort while nursing.

At six months, I still had to pump for comfort’s sake, and could generate a pint of milk in 24 hours. I am a leaky faucet. I don’t wear nursing pads, because I am prone to plugged ducts and cakey breasts.

Ten months into nursing, Russell still chokes on the spray. I have powerful let-downs, physically and mentally exhilarating. I still have lots of milk but a little less by earlier standards.

At 15 months I am so glad to still be nursing. I would not be as creative, loving, spiritual or feel as valued if I had not become a nursing mom


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