Amazing Mothering Hormones
Seven years of infertility were difficult for me. However, God used this hiatus to nurture many spiritual babies that came to live with us while they got their lives back together. We even adopted Katie (now 24) as our own. As the years rolled on, I trusted the Lord would bless us again with another little one.
By the time our three biological children were nine, seven, and six years I no longer had my "Momma Hormones" that come with babies and small toddlers. My children, (Alyssa, Josiah, and Emma), were now much more independent and with this freedom I took on more rolls in our community. I facilitated home school events, became more active in our home church, and involved our children in extracurricular activities.
But soon I began to feel desperate. I prayed, "Dear Lord, Emma will be seven years old soon. Please God give us another baby!" Our loving heavenly Father heard my cry, and a month later we conceived our fourth biological child.
On October 8th, 2015 we welcomed a bouncing baby boy named Jeremiah David Welch into our lives and I was determined to breastfeed my child this time. My last three children were bottle-fed due to lack of breast milk on my part, lack of council, and lack of understanding that there are alternate ways of breast feeding.
Sadly, a small percentage of women cannot produce enough milk to satisfy their baby's appetite, and I was one of those women. I attribute this to underdeveloped milk ducts in adolescence. However, this time I had amazing, godly, nursing women around me for encouragement! This made a huge difference in my determination to nurse and helped with any discouragement.
When Jeremiah latched onto my breast for the first time, I felt a little milk leaving my breast. It may work this time, I thought. But as time went on Jeremiah was not fully satisfied.
My friends encouraged me saying, "You just need to feed him more." So, I did. I nursed him literally around the clock, but he still cried and cried as though he had received nothing at all. Then I would cry and cry, feeling like a failure. It was hard watching all my girlfriends bursting at the seams with enough mommy milk to feed an army of babies.
I began extensively researching natural ways of encouraging milk production in my body. The best book I read was The Breast Feeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk by Diana West. I began taking a barrage of natural organic herbs that many midwives around the world recommend for milk production. I found a concoction that really worked for me (see below for list).
With the herbs, my body produced a little more milk, enough for him to get some natural antibodies, but it was still just not enough to satisfy my little boy. He was not gaining weight.
Our midwife suggested we supplement my milk with some formula. Being determined to breastfeed exclusively, I began using a supplemental nursing system that allowed me to breastfeed and give my son formula at the same time he latched onto my breast. I fed him all the milk I had then filled a syringe with formula and attached a small feeding tube to it. I inserted the end of the feeding tube into the side of Jeremiah's mouth while he nursed. It was such a blessing to keep the intimacy of breastfeeding even though the formula was his major food source. As he grew older and needed more, I used a bottle with an inverted nipple and feeding tube instead.
In the early days of Jeremiah's life, I was alarmed by the terrible ingredients in his formula. Each North American brand of formula read like a grocery list of unhealthy fillers and chemicals. Through much research, I found a formula called Holle that is very close to breast milk. It is made in Germany where chemicals and genetically modified foods are banned. I order it from E-bay or http://www.biologisch24.com.
Did all this take extra work? A resounding YES! But it was worth it for the changes it brought to me as a woman. While expecting our son, I read an article entitled More than Milk, written from La Leche League which talked about the nursing relationship being much more than your milk supply. The article suggested that through nursing you provide comfort and emotional bonding for you and your baby. I decided at once, that no matter what, I was going to have a nursing relationship with my baby.
I can safely say that at 15 months, my son LOVES to nurse. He nurses about four times a day, not just for food, but for comfort. I nurse Jeremiah to lull him to sleep and when he has an accident. When he cries at night I pull him into bed with me to nurse and we both go back to sleep.
Nursing gave me amazing mothering hormones. I do not recall having such a strong intimate bond with my three bottle-fed children as I enjoy with my son. That is not to say I did not have a special bond with each of my children during their baby stages, but it is much more intimate with Jeremiah.
With nursing and these amazing mothering hormones, something beautiful happened. It gave me my "mothering love" back for my older children. With the hustle and bustle of life, I had lost that close intimate love. Nursing made me slow down and proverbially smell the sweet roses--my children.
As I have been forced to sit still with my nursing son, God has given me a fresh vision for our home again. I had gotten so busy doing things outside of the home, that my family had become a side project instead of my main focus. Even though I planned events that involved my children, I was not directly involved with them. Having my little man refocused me onto my calling and what I am meant to be doing. God has given me back the passion to pour into my children for the few short years they are living in our home. My older children have embraced their little brother and he has brought so much joy into our home. My life has come full circle back to where my focus was when I began having children almost twelve years ago.
One thing I have come to realize is that God the Father has a perfect timing for each of our children to make their way into this world. God has a destiny for each one on earth and it is not our right to interfere with God's timing. I am reminded of Genesis 1:28: “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Did God ever rescind this command?
I was taught all my life to trust God with everything except conception. I was taught to be the family planner in my marriage, not God. Thankfully, I didn't follow this plan, but I have seen many fall into this deception. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NASB) reads: "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body] and in your spirit, which are God’s. "
Don’t be afraid to do what God has called you to do. Don’t listen to what the world tells you concerning your life, family, and body--listen to what God’s Word says about you and your family.
Chilliwack, British Colombia, Canada
Herbs to Help Breastfeeding:
3x a day I take:
X2 Blessed Thistle
X1 Goats Rue- This herb helps to build back the milk glands that are sometimes underdeveloped in childhood, like mine were. The beautiful thing is that as they restore, it means more milk for your next baby.
I purchase all of my herbs on Amazon.com
Printed in Above Rubies #92.