Babies on the Boob
I never questioned breastfeeding. I always wanted to, never had doubts that it just doesn't work for moms sometimes. I am also going to start this post by saying it's totally a personal preference and personal choice to do it. I am pro breastfeeding, but anyway a baby is fed and healthy is what matters most.
I breastfed Eleanor she latched right away. In the hospital you are not thinking about it, you just go with it. She had to be supplemented within her first week with formula because I didn't really know what I was doing and mentally didn't want to always fight the pain, she needed to gain weight. No-one tells you the excruciating pain that comes with the beginning stages of this "beautiful" process. I wanted it. I wanted her to feed from me to help her immunity. To feel a connection. I wanted to feel needed by the human I created in every way possible. I didn't understand cluster feeding. I didn't understand moisturizing my nipples so they don't bleed and crack. Proper nutrition so my milk was good and fatty, what was that? Week after week it got easier, but I was always lacking something. By the time she was 5 months we made the decision to use formula for 1 bottle a night and nurse during the day. There were so many rules, the pediatrician says one thing, the lactation consultant says one thing, and you read a ton of other things. As a first time mom, I felt instinct however It was my first time so I was trying everything. At times it was too much. We successfully breastfed until 10/11 months. The weening process got easier once she had enough teeth to bite my nipples and laugh about it. I pumped enough, to give her a bottle until her first birthday. That was a huge goal for us. It felt good.
Baby Myles...do not believe people when they say "if your first child was good, your second won't be as easy." He is a lot easier than Eleanor so far. With my first experience breastfeeding, I wanted to be so prepared the second time around. I pumped colostrum and saved it for him. I wanted my milk to come in sooner so that helped a lot. When the pediatrician said to pump and bottle feed to get his weight up, I did for a week. Then I said to myself, "this is my body, my baby why am I listening." He's happy healthy and I'm writing my own playbook this time around. Trust me, it still hurt like hell this time. But being mentally and physically prepared helped the postpartum and breastfeeding journey this far.
2 months going strong and we have not had to supplement. I attribute that to making these changes.
Pre Pump at 38-39 weeks pregnant to get the colostrum flowing
Moisturize nipples with an all natural salve during pregnancy and postpartum
Eat Good (high fats, low sugar)
Drink a ton of water
Try different nursing positions
Massage and salt soak to prevent clogs
Relax, set up a good space for you and baby
I also, recommend on demand feeding. I go off of his cues. Sometimes it could be 1,2,3 hours he wants to feed. During the night we get 4/5/6 hours when he sleeps. The quarantine times right now makes it actually easier to nurse because we have no place to be and my boobs are out literally 75% of the day. A schedule almost just happens by 3/4 months. Also when we introduce food, that also fills them up differently. That's when I'll be more regimented. He doesn't take a pacifier so I can't soothe as easy. I wish I could.
These again are my experiences and tips. I hope it can help in anyway. If you want to breastfeed it gets easier I promise. It does help balance hormones, produce less stress hormones, and for me, made me more confident. Breastfeeding has been proven to help baby blues/ppd and release oxytocin happy hormones throughout your brain.
Don't be afraid to nurse in public. They make cool covers if you are not comfortable, but it is a beautiful thing. Good Luck mamas.