My Breastfeeding Journey
I thought I would do something different and get a lil personal with you today on the blog. Let’s talk breastfeeding … you know one of those subjects … one of those heated debates that moms feel judged about. I am passionate about breastfeeding, but I have no judgment for moms who can’t or choose not to breastfeed. The nursing journey is not easy my friends. Not only is breastfeeding physically painful at first, it is mentally challenging. When you nurse, you are attached to your child at the … well you know. Wherever you go, your child goes. And if you are like me and your son or daughter won’t take a bottle, you are really attached. But this hasn’t been bad. It’s actually been one of the most beautiful parts of my first year with lil man. I have loved spending every minute I can with Flynn. I know this time as a baby goes fast, and I’m trying to soak in every coo, cry, and giggle I can. It makes me all teary eyed thinking about it actually.
So my breastfeeding journey started about 30 minutes after lil man was born. I was lucky enough that he latched on right away. However, he might have latched on a little too good. That first feeding sesh, he gave me one of the worst lacerations the nurses had ever seen. Every nurse that walked into our room to help us with breastfeeding took one look at my breasts and literally jumped back in fright. Each and every nurse said “whoah he got you pretty good. That is one of the worst lacerations I have ever seen.” And let me tell you folks, it hurt like one of the worst lacerations I have ever had. That area is so sensitive anyway, but with a monster cut and someone biting and sucking right on that cut … it’s enough to make you cry every time. And cry every time I did. Breastfeeding continued to hurt for about two weeks to a month for me. There were times I felt like giving up my breastfeeding journey. However each day got easier and easier, and I started to really get the hang of it.
Little man breastfed around the clock nonstop for the first couple of months. And I mean around the clock. He woke up every hour at night, and he fed all day. He nursed so much I called Le Leche League and the hospital to see if something was wrong. They all assured me that this was totally normal. Flynn man is still a big eater as you can probably tell in these photos. He’s got some cutie patootie chub on him which I just love.
Those first couple of months breastfeeding feels so daunting because it is literally your whole day. And a lot of people don’t understand. My breastfeeding advice would be to take the advice of others with grain of salt, a lime, and a shot (lol ... my sister showed me a card that said this ... and I just loved it). A lot of people don’t get the logistics of it. They don’t get how often you have to feed and how you have to pump at the exact right moment or you won’t have enough milk for the next feeding. And they don’t get that at the beginning it takes days to pump a single feeding. And they don't get how different it is with a newborn. And you will get so much judgment. Oh the judgment and opinions about your parenting! So if you are at the moment where you feel like you are going to die right about now, hang on. I promise you. It gets easier. My breastfeeding sessions went from about an hour to about 10 minutes, and you won’t believe how different this makes you feel.
So Flynn is 12 months now, and I breastfeed him every three to four hours. I find the best times to feed him are when I’m putting him down for a nap or he’s just waking up from a nap. He eats lots of solids in between. Parenting is a weird thing. I have found that if I do the exact opposite of what everyone is telling me, it works. I have learned to block out the noise of opinions. For example, Flynn was waking up a lot throughout the night until about a month ago. Everyone kept telling me that he wasn’t hungry and to stop feeding him at night amongst many other things. I read an article that totally contradicted everything else I read and started feeding Flynn a lot more throughout the day on a whim, and he started sleeping throughout the night, only waking up once or twice … sometimes not at all. There is so much trial and error in parenting, but I find if I listen to my baby and my gut I am much better off. The good news is you can create your own breastfeeding story.
From feeding a newborn to a 12 month old, it seems the breastfeeding journey is both long and short. I cherish the moments I am breastfeeding. It is such a bonding time between Flynn man and me, and I love how relaxed it makes him. I am still in awe of the science of breastfeeding from the benefits it passes along to your child to the way in which your breastmilk is specific to every minute of your child’s existence. It blows my mind.
At this point in my breastfeeding career, I will be sad to see my breastfeeding journey come to an end.
If you are about to embark on your own breastfeeding/feeding journey, I thought I would share my essentials. I literally use or used these products all of the time. I just gathered them up in my house. These products saved my life, especially in those early days: Medela Freestyle Breast Pump, Pump and Save Bags, Quick Clean Bag, Medela bottles, lanolin, and disposable nursing pads. As I mentioned Flynn man stopped taking a bottle, so I don’t pump anymore. However, he took a bottle for a short couple of days, and I thought he would take a bottle again. So I continued to pump for a while. Make sure to check your insurance regarding a pump. I actually got the freestyle pump for free from my insurance.
Here is a pic of Flynn man breastfeeding in those early days from our amazing photographer, Red Poppy Photo. He was so little! This is one of my favorite positions when I am dead tired. Hope you enjoyed my story. I would love to hear about your feeding journey in the comments below!
This post was sponsored by Medela through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Medela all opinions are my own.
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