BREAST IS BEST {Part 2} – My Tips

nursing newborn

Quinn was born June 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm.  It was a beautiful sunny day which so fits her personality!  I nursed her right after she was cleaned up and it was like magic…she knew just what to do.

Quinn nursing

You can read the whole story here!

nursing

I posted my reasoning earlier today since it is world Breastfeeding Week and I am participating in Mothering’s “Blog About Breastfeeding” event.

Our Story

For the first two weeks I was exhausted.  Exhausted doesn’t even begin to describe it actually.   There were nights that she would nurse, I would lay her down and 15 minutes later she wanted to nurse again.  At any point if she heard me or smelled me she started rooting.  I figured she wasn’t full because I wasn’t making enough milk yet plus it was so hard to keep her awake and sucking to get full.  I wondered what I was doing wrong meanwhile becoming so tired and tempted to give her formula just so I could KNOW she was full.

Once she fell asleep, she might not eat more which meant that she would be hungry again soon.  As I caught on to this pattern, I tried to get her more full by nursing her on one side, then I would wake her up by changing her diaper and nurse her on the other side.  This was very time consuming.  I felt like I was constantly sitting there with one boob out and one eye open.  At this point, I remember being so tired of having sore nipples and wet nursing pads.

Q would nurse for around 40 minutes to an hour and was eating every 1.5-2 hours so that meant I had between an hour to 1.5 hours (if that) to get anything done and rest.  (i.e. Q would nurse and fall asleep but by the time I would brush my teeth, take out contacts, wash my face, put on pajamas and climb into bed I might only have 20-40 minutes left for sleep!)

I was told so many times that babies don’t really develop habits during this time since they are still using their own clock, but I found myself stressing so much about not letting her suck just to suck.  I didn’t want her to become attached to me as a need to fall asleep.  I wanted her to eat then be awake for a short time and learn how to put herself to sleep.  FINALLY at around three weeks, she was able to stay alert just a bit after eating, my nipples were feeling better and she was sleeping a bit longer.  I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!  Now I understand why so many moms told me that if I could get through the first couple weeks, I would be golden!

Around week five, Q slept through a feeding so I needed to pump or my boobs were going to explode on me!  Since using the pump, I found that this method has been much easier for me because Quinn eats faster from a bottle and I KNOW that she is full rather than just wanting to suck.  I also don’t have to worry about milk spraying all over her like a rain shower.  (If you BF you know what I am talking about and if you don’t, you will know soon!  At least I knew she wouldn’t get pink eye…yep, breast milk cures that!)

I now exclusively pump, but if I had to, I would nurse her.  I find myself missing the nursing aspect because now I realize how connected to her I felt.  I have read studies which state that nursing can be very emotionally beneficial and it helps stimulate oral development, so sometimes I feel guilty that I am not nursing her.  The more I keep talking to other moms about this, the more I am reassured that I can bond with her regardless of how I feed her; we are mother and daughter and the love is so strong!

Since my pump is practically my lifeline, or should I say her lifeline, I figured I would share with you what I use to make my life easier.  I absolutely love the Medela products!  A pump can be quite an investment, but if you have problems nursing, are going back to work, need it to increase supply, etc. it is soooo worth it!  I wish I would have known that some insurances cover the cost!  More info on insurance here!

I scored my pump on sale at Target (with free shipping) and bought gift cards from Giant Eagle when they were having their fuel point perk of save 20 cents on every $50 in gift cards.  It was such a good deal and even at full price, the savings with not having to buy formula would have been well worth it.

Supply

I am not having a problem with supply, but since some moms certainly do!  I think that my diet and fitness schedule has played a huge role in my milk production.  I drink plenty of water, get sleep, eat an array of healthy foods and stick to these suggested servings.  I thought I would need to eat a BUNCH of extra calories, especially since I workout daily, but I eat as I normally would before Q.  During pregnancy, your body puts on extra weight to help you save up.  Just let your body be your guide!

healthy servings for breast feeding

You can print this grocery list if it helps you plan better!

source: thediva-dish.com

source: thediva-dish.com

For mommas that are having trouble, these are foods that increase supply (galactagogues):

  • Oatmeal
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Fenugreek
  • Blessed thistle
  • Fennel
  • Anise
  • Hops (have a beer!)
  • Alfalfa
  • Wheat grass

**Be careful!  Foods that can hinder supply are: sage, peppermint and parsley.  You can see other things that hinder supply here. **

Pumping

I typically pump every 3-4 hours, and yes, there are times that I stretch it to 5 or 6.  Sometimes I am just too tired and want to crawl back in bed!  When I pump, I typically do it for 15-20 minutes and make sure to squeeze each breast repeatedly alternating sides to get more to come out.  There are times they seem empty yet I will get another 3-5 letdowns!  I also keep the pump running for a few minutes after I’m done so that it stimulates my body to produce more for next time and reduces the chance that I will have plugged ducts = mastitis!  OUCH!  Ain’t nobody got time fo that!

Favorite Accessories

breast feeding accessories

1. Fun and flirty washable nursing pads

2. Nuk washable nursing pads

3. Lansinoh- nipple lanolin

4. Sleeper nursing bra

5. Double clasp nursing bra

**Not shown: Hot Slings use code BFWEEK13 to save 50% + FREE SHIPPING**

**Nursing bra sale: Buy 3 get 4th free + use code PEAAUG13 for FREE SHIPPING on purchases over $150.**

breastfeeding tools

1.  Medela Breast Pump with extra accesories and battery pack.

2. Medela quick clean wipes

3.  Bottle drying rack

4.  Up & Up milk storage bags

Ages For Feeding

Some moms like to continue to breast feed into the toddler years but I am totally okay with following the normal schedule.  I can always use my milk to add to her purees so I know she is still getting the nutrition.  Most moms follow:

  • 0-6 months: BF only
  • 6-1 year: BF + foods are introduced
  • 1yr+: BF may continue but food is primary

Storing Breast Milk

At times, I pump more than she can eat and as I start to wean her or add milk to purees I will need to store more milk.  Currently, I don’t store much in the fridge or freezer because I would prefer the milk to be fresh.  Here is a general guideline for how to store milk:

source: The Leaky Boob

source: The Leaky Boob

That is pretty much it in a nut shell!  Of course, there is so much info on this topic so I may have missed something.  I hope this helps and please leave any comments or questions below in regards to your success/struggles or concerns.  You can also email me anytime!

Remember that every mom and child is different and no one can tell you what works best.  It’s a learning process!  If you are feeling adventurous and want to see some bad advice, here’s a laugh!

Thanks for reading!

-Kayla

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