One of the things that people always tell you when you’re pregnant but you fully can’t understand until you’re there is just how hard breastfeeding really is! How much blood (maybe literally) stress & tears it might cause you! Being a seasoned (not expert, seasoned, meaning I’ve experienced many trials but definitely not all of them) breast feeder now let me just tell you, those first 6 weeks with Greleigh were ugly, like grit your teeth, cry EVERYTIME she eats kind of ugly! I wanted to share this to maybe help even one of you have a smoother journey than I did! There are several things I have learned over the years of solely breastfeeding my babes so I thought I would share with you! Every journey to feeding your child is beautiful whether it’s bottles or boobies and this is in no way directed as in I think breastfeeding is the only way, but it’s my way and thats why I’m sharing!
- I think this can be a huge determining factor for a breastfeeding mama! I was determined to bf, I wasn’t gonna give up! When Greleigh was born the odds were against me. During her first feeding session she turned completely blue and her oxygen level got down to 52%, talk about scary and not ever wanting to try to feed her again…I was absolutely terrified to breastfeed her due to the result of her first feed! She was taken to NICU immediately while the figured out what was wrong and I wasn’t able to feed her for 2 full days! So I had to stay strong in my heart’s desire to breastfed my baby, I pumped my little heart out, so she could eat from a bottle when they would let her! Which brings me to another tip….
- I highly suggest not starting a pumping routine until you and your baby have established a solid bond and routine which allows your milk to regulate! This is usually between 2-4 weeks depending on your body! I started pumping immediately because I wasn’t able to breastfeed Greleigh so I started pumping, blindly at that…I really had no idea how long, or how much I should be getting and when I began pumping lactation consultants weren’t on the floor so I just did what I thought was right andddddd then came the milk cow! I had enough milk to feed triplets which of course led to an oversupply because Greleigh was not eating near what I was able to pump, so when it came time for me to start exclusively bf her she couldn’t empty my breast, which then led to an infection and then to mastitis!! If you’ve ever had it you know how extremely terrible it is, I was basically on my death bed with a 10 day old running 105 fever and shaking uncontrollably, y’all it was bad! I’m not trying to scare anyone to not pump because it can be done right but it really is key to wait until your supply has regulated! You by no means have to start pumping but it’s just a nice change up if you wanna have a date night or pamper yourself, and by pamper I mean–lock yourself in the bathroom and cry in the shower because you are so overwhelmed with extreme love, exhaustion and sheer confusion for how your life has been flipped upside down, while your husband feeds the baby a bottle! (sounds like pampering huh???) Also the main factor here is buying a great pump, Ive used several and the best by far is this one! It is a hospital grade pump and it’s so much more comfortable on the “girls” while pumping! Trust me, it’s a must have & you can usually get it through insurance! You might have to pay an upgrade fee but I promise it’s worth it!
3. LACTATION CONSULTANTS
- Find one, connect with her, love her! They know so much and have so many good tips/tricks! I was in so much pain with Greleigh that I scheduled a time to have them watch me feed her from beginning to end. They tell you different positions, how to latch properly, and how to learn baby’s cues for hunger! Also a huge thing that was an issue with mine & Greleigh’s journey was her undetected lip tie, y’all I nursed for a freakin’ year with a severe lip tie that had to be surgically cut when she was 18 months! I really wish we would have discovered this sooner because I think it would have made a world of difference in our journey but we learned to nurse around it and we didn’t let it define us or stop us!
- This may seem silly to some of you but it’s something I swear by! I watched millions of youtube videos on proper latch, breastfeeding tips/tricks, how to hold baby while feeding if uncomfortable, etc! Just start searching and you will find so many great resources, because personally I can only read so many articles before I have to actually see someone do it for it to really sink in!
- Get your husband or someone on board to stand in your corner and support you no matter what! You will hear a million times, “just give that baby some formula”, “you’re starving him/her” “bottle feeding is soooo much easier”…the list goes on & on! You do you! If it’s important to you, stick it out and don’t let those comments get to you! Also find a mom group, they are all over Facebook and seriously I love these! You can ask any questions you might be embarrassed to ask your “in real life” friends and they will give you the raw details of their experiences too!
6. GET A GOOD BRA
- Another thing to consider is a finding a good, supportive, non underwire bra especially in the beginning! Wires can put compression on your milk ducts which can lead to clogged ducts which can be super painful! One of my favorites is this one! Super cheap and great support while being comfortable!
7. H2O & Beer 🙂
- Can’t say this enough….You literally feel like you’re drowning in water but it’s essential to your breastfeeing success! I suggest at least 10 8oz cups per day! Find a cute water bottle like this one, it makes it so much easier to drink when it’s cute and drink away! 😉 Also I was just recently sent this Milk Flow drink mix from Upspring Baby and it comes packed with Fenugreek & Blessed Thistle which will help boost your supply! I just pour mine in with some water into my shaker cup and shake & go! I have been using it so I can stock pile pumped milk since we are heading out to CO for a wedding this weekend! Also beer….I like where this is going! Beer is a great way to give you a little supply boost, I would usually drink one as I was feeding so it wouldn’t be in my system yet & would be out by the next feed! However, if you go out for an adult night or maybe get caught up in the beer drinking (I mean, it can happen) please make sure you use these!! So convenient and take out the guess work of “have I had too much alcohol to feed the babe” #winning
Huxxy boy will be my last nursling! 🙁
Gre would roll my skin in her fingers and pinch so hard!
Do any of you have questions? I’d love to hear your breastfeeding story! It truly is a journey that I will never forget and cherish so dear to my heart! That look from your baby, the “mom I need you” look is one I have engrained in my head, or the tiny hand resting on my chest, or playing with hair, that, that is what I’m going to miss! I’m so proud that my body was able to feed my babies for so long and helped create that special bond! All the tears, stress and pain was so worth it and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat! I still don’t know when I’ll be done breastfeeding Huxx and it makes me sad to think of my journey being done forever but the freedom that comes on the other side is somewhat sweet, but not near as sweet as those middle of the night full belly moans & first nursing smiles…
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