My Breast Feeding Journey0
When it comes to breast feeding it can be pretty challenging. Whether it is your first or fourth child, I am sharing my experience, struggles and helpful tips I have learned along the way on this breast feeding journey.
I have had two completely different breast feeding experiences with my littles. Both hard, had struggles, were amazing, and made it (well hoping to with Lettie too). Breast feeding is something I feel like a lot of people don’t talk about and they just let it be and let people think it will happen naturally and that it isn’t hard at all. I’m going to share both experiences first and then share some tips and tricks that have really helped it to be a successful experience and even better with Lettie than King.
|| BREAST FEEDING KING ||
Breast feeding King was my first experience breast feeding, I didn’t really do much research…I just figured 1 I’m a nurse and 2 that it is just something that is supposed to happen and be “natural”. He latched what I thought/think was good in the hospital and I breast fed him for 3 days. I started to pump on day 3 because I was so engorged and getting red spots on my breasts. I tried to still nurse him too but I had to leave him quite a bit at the beginning for some things and so I had to pump either way for there to be milk for him. I ended up exclusively pumping with him and pumped for 10 months and then had enough of a milk stash that I could still feed him breast milk until he was one. I ended up having mastitis over 9 times with him during that period of time of exclusively pumping. Mastitis if you haven’t had it is the worst sickness. I literally can’t even hold my own body up and have never been more sick in my entire life than when I have mastitis. I ended up loving having the freedom of pumping and being able to pump when and where I needed to plus knowing exactly how much he was getting and that he would take a bottle. I loved my experience with King but often times wonder if because I didn’t breast feed him that is why he has a better relationship and bond with Zach. Zach would feed him bottles while I pumped in the middle of the night, was the best dad to just take over when he got home from work and feed him, etc.
|| BREAST FEEDING LETTIE ||
Lettie’s experience with me was totally different, I am not working as a nurse anymore so I have the opportunity to just breast feed her. I started this experience totally different with taking some breast feeding classes through Lactation Link. It was the best thing I did for myself and Lettie. I did her online classes and learned so many different things to make our experience better. She latched great in the hospital and has ever since. I do still pump once a day to keep myself from getting mastitis and have quite a stash of milk in the freezer from being an over producer. She is 8 weeks old this week and I have only had mastitis one time so far and am so beyond grateful for that. I love that I am the one who gets to feed her all the time (we still give her a bottle occasionally to make sure she will still take one) and that it is our thing together. I also love the how quick it is to be able to feed her when we are out and about. We have had a few hurdles like her choking while she nurses because I have too much milk, figuring out how to feed her from only one side per feeding because she would over eat and throw up, etc. but it has been such an amazing experience!
|| TIPS & TRICKS ||
I have learned a few tips and tricks along the way that have helped so much. I am no expert at all at breast feeding, but here is what has worked for me and my two littles!
1 – Take a class from an IBCLC! This was the biggest thing that helped me with Lettie girl. I knew so many different things and didn’t worry as much because I had so much more knowledge and knew what to do when something came up. I recommend Lactation Links classes!
2 – Every experience is different, King to Lettie was completely different. I have a few friends that were over producers with their firsts and dried up early with their second. It is okay to have hurdles and things come up, but don’t be afraid to ask a lactation specialist for help! I promise it will be worth it!
3 – Take others advice and then do what is best for you. When people give advice I truly like to think that they have the best intentions, however that doesn’t mean that their advice is best for you and your little. Listen to their advice, take what works, and then let the rest go.
4 – If it doesn’t work out for you it is OKAY! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You love your baby and a fed baby is all that truly matters. Buy some formula, donor breast milk, or whatever you feel is best for your little one and your circumstances and some cute bottles and you rock that bottle life mama!