October 4, 2013

Breastfeeding Tips

So easy even Snow does it.



I have been wanting to write about my breastfeeding experience for a few months now. 
I just had no idea where to begin, I do not consider myself a pro, I just know what worked for me and all the advice I received from friends and family was outstanding and helped me to understand the complexity of it all.
So I guess I can begin by saying that it is the BEST thing in the world!! 

I love love love it.
 I love feeding my daughter, I love the bonding and the closeness, I love not having to make a bottle at 6am because I can't even see straight at that time and can formula be anymore expensive? geez! 

The moment my daughter was born she latched immediately, a rainbow appeared right outside my hospital room window. I am not kidding, my husband was right next to me watching our daughter eat while stroking my head just like you see in the movies.
It was magical, I was in awe on how something so tiny was eating and 
knew exactly what to do.  
The following three days at the hospital were bliss, she breastfed and 
everything was going great!! 

I was in pain down there!! no doubt about that, but nothing hurts more then when your uterus is contracting.  OH MY GOSH, it hurts so bad!!!!

  It happens when the baby breastfeeds, it feels like
bad,bad period cramps.  Another thing that hurt was when my nipple tore in half.  I seriously wanted drugs for that pain, I couldn't handle it. I remember feeding her and closing my eyes and holding back the tears and telling my mom this hurts so bad I can't do this anymore.  She kept telling me, it gets better, your nipples will become so tough, they can cut glass haha. Once I figured out how to get her to latch correctly, it helped a lot with the nipple pain.
I use my thumb to gently open her bottom lip downward, I then shove my nipple in her mouth and her lips close creating a seal or the perfect latch. 

The first day home was perfect, I was so glad to be home, so I could pig out, I was hungry all the time!!!! I literally was snacking on steak and pasta, that was my "go-to snack" you feed your baby and you are left lifeless, they suck the life right out of you. You want to eat everything in sight. 

Breastfeeding was going good for the most part, I was just engorged and she wasn't emptying me out and my boobs hurt so much. they were as hard as rocks. 
The let down was also strong,  I have never experience something like this in my entire life. Milk kept coming in but nothing was coming out of my nipples  it felt like my boobs were going to pop!!!
 I was getting frustrated with the pain and I didn't want to get mastitis, so out came the breast pump. 

I pumped for thirty minutes and only got one ounce combined, I wanted to cry from the pain and frustration. I called my friend asking her what the heck is going on? one ounce and I don't feel any relief?!  She helped me as much as she could over the phone.
 I thought I was drying up, or that the pump was broken or that I was failing at being a mom...and I could go on and on. Yay for hormones!!!!

Hard lumps were forming in my breasts, my daughter ate for a little while and would pass out, I would pump and hardly an ounce was being produced and the pump hurt like bitch.
 It was sucking,but nothing was coming out...I cried. I was so mad at it, I had thoughts of throwing that damn thing in our lake in our backyard. 
I was even thinking of giving it to my dogs so they could tear it to shreds. 
But I didn't do any of those things LOL!

I called my OB on the third day, I needed answers. 
She asked me to send her a photo of the milk, I sent a picture through text  and she tells me to stop pumping because I still had colostrum. I thought that only lasted 2 to 3 days tops. She told me for some women it can last up to three weeks. Colostrum is hard to get out with the pump, it can be done but it is easier if the baby does it, sadly my little one ate and then fell asleep. My OB told me to stop pumping until it went away because it would just be torture for me and I would just get frustrated. 

My colostrum lasted a whole entire week.  That was a tough week.
 I looked up so many remedies online, one remedy I used was with the help of my husband in a hot shower.  I would let the hot water fall on my breasts and he would squeeze the crap out of them, of course he was having a blast, didn't complain once. 

Milk was pouring out like crazy and I felt some relief. Once he finished I would pump and it was much easier, I was able to pump 3 oz. Once that week passed and my milk came in I was pumping so much more. I was so relieved. You feel like a huge failure when it doesn't work out like you think it will in your mind and you become so discouraged. 
I'm so glad I asked for help, a little advice can go a long way.

Pumping became super easy after that.  
I wanted to produce more milk. 
So I tried the Mother's Organic Milk Tea.
 Oh boy, this tea after two servings had me squirting milk everywhere, even across the room, and sometimes all over my daughter's face. 
I remember one time I was standing talking on the phone and my dog was licking the floor I look down and there was a puddle of milk on the ground, my shirt completely drenched. I ran and grabbed a bottle to catch it all. I stopped drinking the tea after that, it was too much. You can buy it on Amazon.com or Wholefoods. 
I bought a pack and only used two packets. 
oatmeal helps a lot too. I ate that for breakfast everyday with chia seeds. 
I never tried Fenugreek, I heard it works but tastes really bad. 
I rather eat the oatmeal. 
      So everything was going amazing. She was breastfeeding just fine, I was pumping and       sleeping so good,  I lost all my baby weight, and I felt like myself again. 
Then she turned 5 weeks...and... all...hell...broke...loose. 

                       The GROWTH SPURT! 

I wanted to quit right there and then.
Vida was eating every HOUR for 30-40 minutes straight. 
Once she was done I had to decide between eating or sleeping, I wanted both, and at the same time. 
My mom had made me freezer meals I could pop in the oven. 
Those meals saved my life. I would eat so fast and go to sleep because I knew I would have to feed the little cow in less than an hour.

On the 3rd night I had fallen into a deep deep sleep, I'm sure an hour went by but it felt more like 3 minutes. Vida woke up grunting, I knew she wanted to eat. But I couldn't grab her, I didn't have the energy to get up and get her from her bassinet, I wanted too but I couldn't get up, I felt so weak.
I remember my husband waking up to me crying like a baby, I said to him
"I can't do this. I am so tired, I am so hungry, why is she eating like this?
 I want to do formula, it will be so much easier"
 He of course comforted me and grabbed the baby. I breastfed her and he feed me a huge bowl of oatmeal at the same time. I stared at him, I felt so stupid being spoon fed, but so happy at the same time. I fell even more in love with that man that night. Once she was done eating she fell asleep. He placed her back in her bassinet and he cuddled me, he said don't give up, you have come way too far to quit right now. He was so right.
 I had gone through so much and I knew the growth spurt would be over soon.
The following week my little 6 week old baby slept through the night!!!
 11pm-8am. I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed. 
Ever since then Vida has slept through the night. 
I am so glad I didn't give up. It did suck at the beginning, but it does get better with time, then it becomes so easy.  
She wakes up to eat,I get her from her bassinet, I shove my boob in her mouth, and the milk is warm and ready to go. My husband sometimes grabs my boobs and shakes them and says to Vida if she would like a milkshake. He's so funny.
My daughter is 17 weeks today and weighs 15 pounds, she is one chunky, healthy, happy baby and I still breastfeed her. I do it at home, in the car in the Target parking lot,at the mall etc. I love it. I couldn't imagine not doing it. I wish she would take a bottle but that is something we will figure out later. One problem at a time!

  So here are my tips on how to be an amazing         lean,mean, breastfeeding machine!! 


TRY: Just give it a try. I know so many women who didn't even want to try breastfeeding because they were told the pain is too much. 
It does hurt I'm not going to lie to you, but it does get better. The pain is so worth it.

REST:  When that cute little baby sleeps, you sleep too. Do not clean,sew,cook or watch TV. sleep for at least 30 mins. This also helps with milk production.

PUMP:  Pump to feel some relief  from being so full of milk, it also does help boost your supply.  I pumped twice a day for 10-15 mins. I wasn't going back to work so I pumped to feel relief. I froze some and dumped others.

EAT HEALTHY:  I cannot stress this enough. Don't eat crap food and then wonder why your baby isn't getting full. The food you eat goes to your baby, don't eat a taco from Taco Bell and a donut and think that will become decent breastmilk to feed your baby, It isn't. That is not quality food, therefore you will not have quality milk.
Eat lots of fruit,leafy green veggies, lean meats, eggs and whole grains. 
You will lose weight while breastfeeding, but you won't lose weight eating crap food. So choose your food wisely.

CUT IT OUT:  Cut dairy out for a few months (if you can) it will make a huge difference for your baby. I cut out dairy pregnant and while nursing and my baby has never had colic. 
She is the most happiest baby ever. I put coconut milk instead of cows milk in my cereal. 
Cut out caffeine too. I know it's safe for the baby but what nutritional value does it have? none.

 
DRINK DRINK DRINK:  Drink water like it's going out of style. That helps a lot with milk production. I was drinking about one to two gallons a day. I couldn't get enough. I don't drink soda or juice so water is all I drank. 


STOP COUNTING: I tried putting Vida on a schedule to eat, I would time her and write it down and then one day I just let her do what she wanted. If she wanted to sleep instead of eat I would let her sleep, if she was hungry she knew what to do. 
If she felt like snacking then whatever I had no where to be.

DON'T SPOIL: HA! This is impossible you can't spoil a baby.
 If Vida wanted to suck on my boob for an hour, I let her. Turned the TV on ,grabbed some snacks and let her do her thing. Suckling produces milk. This is my life this is WIDN (what I do now)  I just do what she says. :)

ASK FOR HELP: Friends,family,lactation consultant etc. Advice never hurt anyone. My mom friends were the best help, since they had done it before and they are so supportive. And you can cry with them about how annoying your husband is and they won't judge you. The best advice was from my Due in June Club. These moms are the best. 
We all live in different parts of the globe yet I feel like they are my neighbors and our babies are the same  age going through the milestones at the same time. 

OATMEAL & OMEGA FATTY ACIDS: Find my healthy, organic oatmeal recipe here. 
 Omega fatty acids helps with heart,brain and eye development for you and baby. 
Keeps the milk nice and fatty too which makes then super smart and extra chunky. 

 
SKIN TO SKIN: Hold your baby when feeding, this helps with your supply and who doesn't love snuggles? 


       You can find our day to day activities and my healthy meals in this post.

Check out Pinterest  and follow my Breastfeeding Board!!
 




 Nursing cover from: MommyzBIB she makes custom orders and matching wipey cases.
This cover makes breastfeeding in public fun :)
Go like her Facebook page!

If you have been successful in breastfeeding and have a story you want to share, or some tips please share in the comments below.



Happy Breastfeeding!
                                                                                        

3 comments:

  1. Love! Once you get through those first weeks it really because a habit and much easier. Oh how I hated the pain of raw, bleeding nipples. Keep it up mama!

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    1. It does get better. Thank you for being there for me in the beginning. You helped me soooo much. And you were the only one who would text me and ask how it was going. You are such a sweet friend.

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  2. Sorry I just read my comment and didn't make sense lol. You're welcome! I knew you could push through and do it. I really wanted to help and see how it was going because I know at times it can be discouraging. I wish I would have been able to it longer =( You're such a pro now that is a piece of cake from now on. I'm here to help in any way I can. One day if I have another, I may need a refresher from you!

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