As mentioned in my “Breastfeeding Struggles” post, it did not come easy to me and my son from the start. We STRUGGLED and I was going to quit trying to make it work the very same day it finally started to click for us! Time and details seem to jumble together the further we get from the start of our journey, but I believe it was 5 or 6 weeks in that we found success and it’s been perfect ever since.
Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone and I know a lot of women don’t have the capability to do it. I fully agree that FED is best, but I would like to help others who are out there that can and just need a little help to push through those first awful weeks to create your own journey!
*I do want to say that EVERY WOMAN IS DIFFERENT. I am not a professional in any way, this is just what worked for me and I did not always follow the “guidelines.” For more in depth details behind my reasons for certain tips, check out my “Breastfeeding Struggles” post!
So let’s dive right in..
Cracked, swollen, bruised, blistered nipples was something I was never warned about. My nipples stayed lathered in Lanolin and the prescription stuff they give you at the hospital but they barely touched it. Out of desperation about a week postpartum, I ended up trying coconut oil and it helped tremendously! It didn’t take away the pain, but it kept my nipples moisturized and more flexible.
Pumping began about a week and a half postpartum. Now I know they say to wait 6 weeks due to risk of oversupply, but Ronan had been crying nonstop for days and losing so much weight and I was convinced I wasn’t producing nearly enough for him. I ended up taking a break from breastfeeding to pump instead for a couple weeks as Ronan created an aversion to my breast, and I’m glad I did because I decided to try one last time and that was when it all come together. I never got an oversupply, in fact I barely pump enough, even now for his daycare days!
Boosting my supply wasn’t something I really had to deal with until I went back to work on the weekends and Ronan started daycare. I built a very small stash beforehand but it was used as quick as I built it! I find that peanut butter, brewers yeast, and fruit increase my supply best. I make and eat lactation balls and lactation breakfast foods such as muffins or pancakes leading up to the weekend alongside drinking water all day long which seems to help best. Occasionally Gatorade does help as well if you are on the dehydrated side! No, color does not matter.
Getting In Sync With Your Baby
Not every parent has this problem with breastfeeding, but I sure did. When Ronan wouldn’t stop crying I kept asking, “why does he hate me,” “why is it not working,” “how else do I help him?” There was a point I just laid there bawling in the fetal position because I was just mentally done trying and completely overwhelmed. Ronan didn’t want my breasts and I cringed every time I tried to feed him and our negative energy towards each other was ruining our breastfeeding journey. Once I started pumping and supplementing he was a completely different, HAPPY baby and finally gaining weight. We took the two weeks to connect without the boobs then threw them back in the mix and now here we are seven months later! Whatever you find that works, just know that it’s OKAY to divert from the natural path and it doesn’t have to be forever.
Products that helped tremendously!
This glorious gift from the heavens above will always be mentioned with anything breastfeeding on my page. It’s just that AWESOME. I actually hate pumping so this is a hands free, super easy alternative and is great for catching any leakage!
I have yet to find a bag that really “wows” me but I can narrow it down to two for different reasons.
Lansinoh – these are pretty thin and they give a more accurate volume up to 6oz. I do not like using these to freeze though because I’ve had 2 of them split in the freezer!
Parents Choice– these are more affordable and they are much thicker than the Lansinoh, however the volume (also up to 6oz) is significantly off. They are so thick, the milk doesn’t fully settle where it should. These are very sturdy for the freezer though!
Okay, so, I did not like Lanolin to heal my nipples but I either use this or coconut oil every time I pump! They are both safe for baby and they help immensely with keeping the flanges from slipping from my breasts while pumping and keeping them from bruising and pinching.
I’m not kidding when I say I haven’t worn a single bra since I’ve had Ronan, and boy is it freeing. I was that girl who ALWAYS had to be wearing a bra, even to sleep in, but now it’s too much work. These camis make it super easy to just unlatch and feed while still primarily being covered which I appreciate.
I have absolutely enjoyed our time breastfeeding and I don’t foresee us stopping anytime soon. My goal is to make it a year now that we’ve made it past the halfway mark. The beginning is, by far, the hardest and despite how many women make it seem, you are not alone! There are entire communities of women on all platforms that struggle with this and each have their own unique way of powering through. It is completely worth it in the end though, I can promise you that!
Lastly, I wanted to mention a new Etsy shop I’ve come to love! If you’re looking for cute and affordable decals and more, check out HomeGrowne Designs and use the code MTNMOM for free shipping!