Breastfeeding (Boys, this may be TMI)

Before Liam's arrival, I read about breastfeeding.  A lot.  It was the one thing that I was uber passionate (and excited) about.  I HAD to breastfeed.  It HAD to go well.  I HAD to be as prepared as possible.  If you can do it, breast is best, as they say.  It's best for baby and it's best for mom.  Did you know that  breastfeeding decreases a woman's risk for certain types of cancers?  I didn't until our birth class.  Just another reason to breastfeed.  It also burns extra calories (which believe me, you'll want once that baby is out and the belly and thighs are still there).  And um, hi, it's FREE.  Formula isn't cheap, friends.

I wanted to be successful at breastfeeding so badly that I was convinced I would fail or struggle.  I prayed and prayed.  Other than a healthy Liam (and mommy), there wasn't a single thing that I prayed about more.  Silly me for letting doubt creep in. 

Breastfeeding was amazing from the very beginning. Because of Liam's semi-traumatic entrance into the world, I didn't have a chance to breastfeed for a few hours (he made a trip to the nursery for monitoring instead).  Since I was hoping to pop him out and then immediately breastfeed, of course I panicked. I kept telling the nurses that I needed to breastfeed.  And I kept asking when I could breastfeed. But for no reason.  Not only did Liam latch-on right away, but my milk came in 36 hours after he was born.  I woke-up Wednesday night to nurse and noticed that my boobs were suddenly GIGANTIC.  Hello milk supply!

For me, the hardest part of breastfeeding initially was finding a position that was comfortable.  We brought the Boppy to the hospital, but I quickly learned that it wasn't very supportive.  First, it wasn't big enough.  Second, it was sturdy enough.  As a breastfeeding pillow (at least for us) the Boppy was worthless (as an infant positioner, however, it's awesome!).  The lactation consultant at the hospital (LC) recommended the football hold.  Eventually, Liam and I got the hang of the football.  After a week or so at home, it was clear that Liam had outgrown the football, so we transitioned to the cradle hold.  From the first cradle hold, it was obvious that Liam liked this hold the best.  You have to find that works best for you and your babe.  And a good pillow certainly helps.  We use a hand-me-down pillow that's actually meant for twins.  It's big and it's sturdy.  It's amazing. 

On one of our many trips to Babies R Us, we purchased a breast pump.  We got the Medela In Style Advanced.  I adore this pump.  Since my goal is to breastfeed for at least a year, I will need a dependable, efficient (read: FAST) breast pump for pumping at work.  In the hospital, the LC taught me how to set-up and use the pump. I don't remember when I first decided to use the pump, but I knew I wamted a healthy supply in our freezer before I went back to work.  Pumping in addition to nursing has tricked my body into producing more milk than Liam needs on a daily basis (technically it's over production.  Eventually, and I'm totally dreading the discomfort of this, I'll have to back-off the pumping in addition to nursing).  We have a TON of milk in the freezer.  By a ton, I mean 300+ ounces.  Probably way more than we'll ever need, but it feels so good to have the back-up.  If my supply suddenly dries up for whatever reason, we're covered for a few weeks (we're planning to buy a deep freeze this week which will allow the milk to last longer).  And did you know that you can donate breast milk?  Thank you 19 Kids and Counting for that tid bit.  The only down side to pumping is that my boobs fill-up and get uncomfortable at night when Liam goes longer periods into between sessions.  Which causes my let down to be STRONG.  Like, strong strong. Like, sorry Buddy that was my bad, strong.

Speaking of let downs... that's my only complaint about breastfeeding.  I hate the feeling.  HATE it.  It's especially strong when I'm full.  My mom describes it as a warm tingling, but I describe it more like a warm burning.  It doesn't hurt.  That's the wrong word.  It's mildly uncomfortable.  Annoying. 

Even though I'm breastfeeding, it is also important that we acclimate Liam to the bottle.  A friend told me about the Breastflow bottle. Instead of telling you all about it, I'll let you read for yourself if you're interested.  We introduced the bottle at three weeks.  Not too early, not too late.  Although he had a confused look on his face since Daddy was feeding him, he took to it quickly.  I've learned the hard way tha\t feeding him with a bottle doesn't work for me.  He just looks at me like, "Um, you have something WAY better to offer. I REFUSE!"   These days we do anywhere from one to three bottles a day, depending on how much time we spend out of the house.  I am yet to nurse in public.  Makes me nervous!  I'm sure it will happen eventually.  We need a decent nursing cover first.  I pumped in the car on the way home from Carter Mountain last weekend, and I used a blanket.  Not easy.

Notice the furrowed eyebrows.
I'm not going to lie, there have been a couple 2 am wake-up calls where I wished we could just add some powder and shake.  Overall, though, I've really enjoying breastfeeding.   I can't explain the bond I feel with my son when we nurse.  He makes the cutest sounds when he nurses.  He rests his hands in the sweetest places.  And he gets SO excited when he's really hungry, and I'm getting him situated.  Even in the middle of the night, I live for the Mommy-Liam time.


Post a Comment