January 11, 2013

Breastfeeding... (Part 1)

I want to start off by saying I am not an expert at breastfeeding by any stretch of the imagination. Breastfeeding is NOT for every mom. I would NEVER judge a mom for choosing not to breastfeed. It is a challenge and every situation is different.

Most of you know from my monthly posts on Gage that we are still breastfeeding/getting breast milk.

For us, it has been a great experience. When we got back to the room shortly after Gage's arrival, I wanted to nurse him as soon as possible. I put him to my chest and he latched right on. From then on, he would latch on for each feeding. I am not saying every latch was perfect, he would occasionally fall asleep while nursing, but for the most part it just worked for us. 

The day I got home from the hospital, I started pumping. I would feed him 10 minutes on each side and pump for 10 minutes. I started producing A LOT of extra milk and I was concerned I would start producing too much milk so I cut back on the pumping. (Next go around, I will not cut back, knowing what I know now;)

 I absolutely LOVE bonding with my baby and knowing I am providing him the best source of nutrition. I will be the first to admit, I feel good that only I can give him this. 
From the beginning, I knew I did not want Gage to be on my boob 24/7. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that, but obviously I had to return to work in 8 short weeks so I wanted to get our schedule down before returning to work.

Most lactation specialist ask you to feed every two hours from the time you started. I realize, some babies need that and I would do whatever my baby required. But lets face it, this momma birthed a toddler, so feeding that frequently was not necessary for us. Gage would go 3 hours and that 3 hours started at the END of our feeding. Again, I realize everyone's situation is different... But sometimes I think we look too far into breastfeeding and that is what makes some moms stop. You have got to find what works for you! If your baby is healthy and gaining weight... stick to what YOU are doing! Me being so flexible is why I think it came easy for me.

I am glad I chose to pump for many reasons I would like to share with you:
(I am talking in past tense because most of this applies to when I was on maternity leave... I will explain our routine now in a later post)
1. It allowed me to breastfeed him one feeding and I (or someone else) could give him a bottle the next feeding. While they were giving him a bottle, I would pump to build my stock.
2.  Pumping would allow me to be done in 10 minutes versus 30 minutes. Let's face it, feeding for 30 to 45 minutes can be exhausting at times so this gave mommy a break when I needed it!  (Again, I would do this maybe once or twice a day to give me a break.)
3. Getting up every 2 hours to breastfeed for 30-45 minutes definitely gets exhausting. I would put a pumped bottle beside my bed, so that way when he woke up for his first feeding, I would give him the bottle. 10 minutes and your done! You know you will at least get 4 good hours of sleep with little interruption!
4. When we were out and about, I would bring my pump with me. On the way, I would sit in the back seat and pump away! Having a baby does not stop us from going places whenever and wherever we want. He fits right into our busy lives!
5. Having pumped bottles allows you to take a bottle with you when you are out and about instead of hunting for a place to nurse. Again, flexibility!
6. Being a working mom, I was able to freeze some milk. That way if I miss a "pumping session" due to a meeting or anything that comes up at work, then I know I have my stock to rely on.
7. My husband, aunts, uncles, cousins, Gage's grandparents, etc. were able to feed Gage. I will say again, I loved the fact that I was the only person that could provide this for him. But seeing those sweet moments when my mom gave her grandson a bottle for the first time, seeing my sister give him a bottle and teach ME a few tricks, and seeing Gage's sweet little fingers wrapped around his daddy's massive hand... I wouldn't trade these moments for the world.


Obviously, knowing that I was returning to work in 8 weeks, I had no choice but to pump along with breastfeeding. Honestly, knowing what I know now... I would choose to pump (& breastfeed) even if I chose to stay home. In MY opinion, it gives you the best of both worlds... bonding time with your baby, the satisfaction you are giving your baby the best nutrition possible, ability to save money,  flexibility, and...  SANITY! ;)

 Breastfeeding was one thing that scared me to death while pregnant because you hear so many horror stories. Hopefully this will give you expectant mommies a little encouragement... Take a deep breath and do what works for YOU!

I am working on a post on what our breastfeeding schedule looks like now as well as a "breastfeeding must-haves" post. It's a little different... but I am hoping to put a little ease to some working mommy's/expectant mommy's minds! 


Have a BLESSED Weekend!


13 comments:

  1. Totally agree! I built breastfeeding up to be so scary and hard while I was pregnant, but like you said if you find what YOU are comfortable with it usually all works itself out. You are such a good Mommy!

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    1. I did too girl! That's exactly right! You are a fabulous mommy yourself:)

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  2. Such a wonderful post! I was so scared to breastfeed and it turned out I loved it. It would have been nice to have read such encouragement like this a few years ago!

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  3. Great advice...and I'm looking forward to learning what your schedule is like now! As a working mom, that has been the hardest part about the whole BFing experience...going back to work and pumping/keeping my supply up!

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope to finish and post it this week sometime!:)

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  4. Hi! Thanks for the comment! Teacher and mommy - I am so glad to find someone to relate to! Ladies HELP ME! I am going back to work soon and I am so scared my supply will dry up. I want to keep BFing and I am terrified. I was unable to BF my first daughter. She was 4 pounds and stayed in the NICU and we just had the hardest time. My milk never seemed to come in. I felt like a failure and I was devastated. Seriously, I lost it. So this time, I am desperate to keep it going. Any tips or pointers? How will I be able to keep my supply up at school?
    It is so funny I have a BF post in the works and this is my third post I read this week on the topic. Thanks!

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    1. I was actually lucky enough to have my breaks exactly 4 hours apart. I fed him in the morning before I left & strapped on that pump while I put on my make-up, pumped at 10:10, again at 2, fed him when I got home and sometimes I pumped after I fed him, then fed him and/or pumped before bed. Helpful tip... by law your boss has to allow you a break to pump as well as a location. :) Do not stress! It will all work out! Hey, if it doesn't work out, you gave it your best shot and you're absolutely not a failure! :) If you need any more details, feel free to ask!

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  5. I wrote a similar post last week! I think it's so important to share stories of bf that are positive...everything I heard before I was pregnant was that it was painful and horrible! Glad to hear you have had a good experience as well!

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    1. I love your post as well! We definitely had similar experiences! I agree, I was scared to death while pregnant, but it all worked out! :)

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  6. I too BFed. I struggled. My milk didn't come in like I had hoped, but I so badly wanted to keep my little man away from formula. I continued to pump when I went back to work after 12 weeks. At 8 weeks, I started pumping on a schedule like I would at work. I don't work in an office where I feel comfortable pumping at work, so I BFed early before getting ready for work, then pumped right before leaving to daycare. I pumped or fed as soon as I came home from work at 5. And then BFed at 7:30 and pumped at 9. If you train your body to only supply that much, you won't feel full all the time except in the beginning. I tried to have a supply, but couldn't get one built because I was never correctly taught how to BF. Looking back, I will not completly listen to the things I read, ex. do no pump for AT least 1 month. I think the best way to get the supply built is to pump early. Your body will start producing more because you are demanding it.

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    1. I totally agree! If you get into reading about breastfeeding, your head will explode!! That schedule sounded even better and easier! :)

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Thank you for your sweet comments. They truly make my day! :-)

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