Breastfeeding 101 – What I have learned.

As I sit here and think about my new little baby soon to come into this world I think about my past experiences and what no one ever told me;  it ain’t all sunshine and daisy’s, but completely worth it!

In the movies, women go through a painful but quick delivery, then they are happily feeding their new little bundles of joy and life goes on.

My Experiences:

With baby number 1, latching on was a huge difficulty.  I was like “here’s my boob now drink up.”  Nope, she couldn’t latch on good and I kept hearing this clicking noise.  The nurses would grab baby, grab boob and try and make the two work together.

When we got home, baby girl cried all night and I tried everything.  Finally, just after I though “great baby hasn’t even been home one night and I am a failure” she let out the BIGGEST man like burp I have ever heard and passes out.

What I learned:

  • Relax, all things will come together and your not a failure, just learning and bonding with baby.
  • When you hear the clicking noise gently break the suction between babies mouth and your breast by placing your finger between both and try, try again.
  • Try different positions.

Cramps:

I get huge cramps, I only feel while nursing.  It makes difficult the part where I am suppose to relax while nursing.

  • I take Motrin (according to doc, this is ok for both Mom and Baby).
  • Your uterus is expelling like a menses and shrinking to its original NON Watermelon size.
  • Know that this will indeed pass. My experience has been 1-3 days of pain, but only while nursing.

Engorgement:

With my first, my milk came in I had the biggest breasts I had ever seen in my entire life.  No REALLY, Ms. Parton would look flat chested compared to these.   For one second, I thought WOW! and then pain.

I was so engorged with milk, my nipples disappeared.  My bra didn’t fit and baby definitely couldn’t latch on.  The books said discomfort “pfffft!” let’s be honest, it was painful.

  • Motrin (consult your doc or midwife.)
  • Take warm showers, try warm compresses, and definitely wear a bra, those two sisters need a lot of support.
  • Express milk, no matter how painful, you have to get those girls down to a manageable size and reduce the pain.
  • Again, this took 2-3 days to reduce down.
  • Keep in mind, this WILL pass.

Milk Supply:

When I didn’t eat right and when I was stressed, my supply went kapoot!

  • Eat right
  • Get rest
  • Drink lots of water
  • One product I wish I had was Milk Makers from Milk Makers.com cookies.

Sore Nipples:

It seems with all my babies, at some point they want to just nurse off of the nipple.  They can’t help it, specially with engorged breasts.  This creates some very sore, tender  nipples.

  • Break the seal and re-attach until you feel like there is way too much boobie in babies mouth.
  • Express some milk to release some of the engorgement, don’t worry there is plenty of milk there.

Cracked Nipples:

All the nursing, wet and dry exposure to nipples can crack and make nipples bleed.  I  experienced this with all my babies.  It always makes me a little reluctant or hesitant to latch baby on the next time because it hurts.

  • Try to keep the nipple clean after every nursing.
  • With the last baby I discovered (what had already been out there all this time) Lansinoh.  The tiniest little bit relieved my discomfort.  It kept my nipple moist and protected.
  • My plan is to use this every day about a month before baby comes.  It may not make my nipple impervious to pain, but a girl can dream!

Gas:

My poor little ones.  If they weren’t sucking right they got gas.  If Momma ate something off they got gas.  I didn’t know they were lactose intolerant either.

  • Everyone is different, but I had to avoid dairy products.
  • Avoid gas causing foods.  Just remember, if it makes you on the tootsy side, it’s probably going to bother the baby.
  • Keep a food diary and take note of how your baby felt that day.  You will soon learn what foods your baby dislikes.

If your baby does get gas, try these things for relief:

  • Always burp baby after feeding, it might take the longest time, but that little itty bitty burp can mean a lot for comfort.  Try both the “pat pat” technique and the gentle rub, moving down / up.
  • Baby massage
  • Lay baby down and make bicycle motions with their legs.
  • Warm bath
  • Try some baby simethicone products like Mylicon.

Don’t wait too long to feed baby, she’ll be mad and eat angry or burp her…

Weight Loss:

With my 2nd and third baby I wanted to get right back on track and lose weight.  But I didn’t eat right or drink enough water.  That lowered my milk supply.

  • I know you are ready to jump on that “fit train” and get your pre-pregnancy body back, but slow down.
  • You need to take in your proper amount of calories.  It’s not hard, just make good choices and eat healthy.
  • Drink lots of water.

All these things sound painful, horrible and they are to a degree, but it is only for a short time; the first week after baby is born.

With luck this information will help in some way.  Remember not to give up, KEEP trying because it is worth it.  Not only are you building immunities for your baby, you are getting some very special time.

Once the brief but hard time has passed, during that precious peaceful time,  it is SUNSHINE & DAISIES!

If you gave it your best try and it still didn’t work out or if your doctor suggested you don’t breast feed.   Don’t feel bad, know that you tried your hardest.

You can still find special quiet times with your bundle of joy.

Breastfeeding sources:

La Leche League

Breastfeeding.com

Most companies that supply bottles, pumps and other supplies have some pretty good information as well.

If you know of a good source, please share with us.

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Anjanette Young

Wife, Mom, Brand Ambassador and Social Media Consultant. at Hi everybody, it's me... Anjanette Young aka. MommaYoung blogging recipes, crafts and cooking. Yep we have six kiddos one boy age 15, and five girls ages 17, 9, 5, 3, and 2. I have so much fun creating recipes, crafting and learning activities for my little ones.

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Comments

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