Hi, my name is Rachael and I'm 19 years old. My little girl, Madelyn was born 2 1/2 years ago. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was terrified. But as time went on, I got used to it and started making decisions about what I'd do when she arrived. One of the first things I decided to do was breastfeed. At first, I was a little hesitant. I didn't know what other people would think about it, but I knew it would be the healthiest thing for my daughter. Why not give it a shot?
When Madelyn was born, she had no trouble latching on. She and I got the hang of it right away. Breastfeeding gave me a sense of worth. I felt like I was giving my daughter something that no one else could. I used a breast pump and stored milk in the freezer for times I'd be away at school. Going to school was about the only time I was away from Madelyn for a few months, and that started to take a toll on me.
I felt guilty if I was away from her for any recreational reason. My family was very supportive, and encouraged me to go out with friends every now and then. Now, I realize that getting away occasionally kept me sane - there was no reason to feel guilty! My goal was to breastfeed Madelyn for 6 months. When that time was up, I tried to introduce formula but it upset her stomach. So I kept breastfeeding, slowly adding formula a few months later, and I breastfed her for the last time on her first birthday.
Compared to other children I know, Madelyn has been extremely healthy. No ear infections, nothing. Maybe the occasional cold in the winter, but that's it. Developmentally, she is very advanced in my opinion. She speaks clearly (in paragraphs I might add), relaying information from memory. Let's just say, I can't pull any fast ones on her! Looking back, Madelyn is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am 100% happy with my decision to breastfeed, and I will definitely be doing the same with any future children. I couldn't have asked for a happier, healthier, smarter daughter.