So you want to Breastfeed and succeed.
I was an over researching, class taking WITH my husband for a MONTH, paranoid, I couldn’t do it because my nipples were not right, new mom to be in 2015. I read all the books. I bought ALL the crap. Then my kid had health concerns, I just felt we got hazed into this parenthood thing.
Breastfeeding sounded SO scary from blog posts, and here’s how to keep your supply this and that. Here are 5 easy tips to help you hopefully feel at ease and succeed in your journey. You can find me on Instagram where I am posting highlights from nursing my second son, and the ups and downs candidly.
Run down on my experiences: First son, pumped and pumped and pumped after feeding him because he wasn’t gaining weight due to a tongue tie no one found because I wasn’t having pain. Once his full tie was corrected – he gained and struggled through my horrible oversupply for 7 months. Oversupply symptoms: Green foamy poop that was projectile, and sometimes blood from frequency. All the tests for him and diet for me… turns out I just had more than enough milk to feed a whole hospital of babies. Otherwise enjoyable and pain-free comfortable.
Second son. Pain from day three. Had to have his full tongue tie clipped as well before we were even discharged, gaining weight appropriately, but severe bleeding cracked nipples and pain. OH, the PAIN! Almost 5 months down, but after traveling far for a specialist who believed in lip ties, and immediate pain relief with that correction, we brought my supply back to normal, from low and chugged along. I want to start an amount for sippy cups and bottles so I can leave the house alone someday, but I am an awful pumper.
Here 5 tips to succeed at Breastfeeding.
1. Find a lactation consultant or Lactation Counselor.
They were critical to my personal success. The class I took, and the book I read The Motherly Art of Breastfeeding were fanatic and came highly recommended by all. But the ability to chat with someone who would sit and work with me and help me achieve my goals and utilize the knowledge that is not always mainstream was excellent. I tried 6 different ones with my second son and a 20-minute conversation in my home by someone I paid with my own money, and a few texts and phone call follow-ups… was the BEST options for me out of all the 5 others I exhausted in utilizing.
2. Get partner support
Without someone to encourage me and remind me of my goals, I would have quit both times. In my case my husband would have been a-ok with me doing formula but was with me in the month-long breastfeeding class, he was committed. He helps me make my goals, 1 day at a time.1 week. 1 month. 1 year. And then finally our 19-month goal when I decided I was done, then got pregnant a month later haha.
3. Eat well
Don’t worry about oatmeal or drinking your weight in water. Eat a well-balanced diet with healthy fats, and drink maybe a little more than the daily water recommendation. I totally recommend finding a good lactation brownie or cookie ( like this one) as additional treats. Don’t focus on losing the baby weight until your supply is established in the first 6-8 weeks. You will get it off! Just focus on providing the best nutrition to you and your baby and don’t stress about the weight. It may just melt off if your lucky, I was not this second time. Sad. Day!
4. PUMP after FEEDS in the first 4-6 weeks.
Ok everyone has an opinion of nipple confusion, so I will let you decide ( I tried force bottles and pacifiers on both my boys in the first week of life and days even… both refused bottles. My second is still a hunger striker if I leave him with his dad and a bottle… BUT freezer stash aside …) Pumping from the beginning can create an oversupply. Been there, IT was awful. Don’t want that postcard. So I was nervous this time to pump at all. /But I committed to pumping once a day for the first two months of life. I ended up seeing a supply problem because my kiddo had lip and tongue ties and I was able to boost my supply – More milk expressed is more milk produced is the understanding I have, though I know it isn’t the case for some. BUT if you pump after your feeds 1-2 times a day for the first 6 weeks, you should be able to create a SLIGHT oversupply that will help carry you through dips in supply when stressed, your cycle returns, etc.
I have two pumps covered by my insurance, one for each pregnancy. I am a lazy pumper and cleaning all those parts, I really only pump when I need to have a bottle as a stay at home mom. I started a stash at 8 months with my first son, so he had milk for sippy cups and prolong our nursing until 18/19 months.
I had heard of Haakaa but when approached to try a sample to help share about National Breastfeeding week- I finally jumped. After 3 years of hearing of its “Magic,” I needed to know. * I am not paid to review this* I WAS MISSING OUT SO BAD! It catches my leaky right boob, and would have been phenomenal in the beginning when I was a milk fountain! Why? It is one silicone piece with a suction ( no spill) bottom. Its easy to clean, but even easier to use! Just squeeze to get a gentle pressure to start a letdown or even softener just to cup and catch leaks. They range in price from basic to kits with all sorts of things. You can click here to find the one I got with my affiliate link to amazon. You definitely want to grab a flower stopper or cap top for it so you can do it in the car or on the go and have a way to seal it up fast! It’s easy to collect some extra oz while you nurse, and I really believe the hype after all these years, and I have bought “all the things” for breastfeeding so happy to find one that was worth it.
5. Relax. Nurse on demand- NOT a schedule.
I know it sucks when your body feels like you are failing. I know the tears that fall when your baby won’t stop cluster feeding and nursing around the clock, and you think they are starving. You are not failing. Nurse that baby on demand. I have had PROVIDERS in the same breath they are preaching breast is best telling me to put my baby on a schedule to feed. NO WONDER women fail. The breastfeeding relationship especially the first 6 months depends so greatly on frequent emptying ESPECIALLY at night when your supply is highest in those early mornings.