Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Breastfeeding Works for Me!

There are so many people in my virtual and real life that are pregnant. I thought I would run through a little bit of why I breastfed and what worked for me.

When I was pregnant I was certain that I would not breastfeed. I thought you want me to put what, where, to do what and for how long!?! I thought it was kinda gross and unnatural. My husband encouraged me to do it. He asked me to nurse her for just 6 weeks. I researched and found all of the benefits to it and decided I could do it for just 6 weeks. In the hospital Anna was so itty bitty that they wanted me to supplement. I had a hard time nursing the first time because I didn't have a clue as to what to do. I got so very frustrated! By this time the lactation lady was gone and the nurse I asked didn't have a clue. That night was a horrible night. I kept trying and I couldn't work it out. Which meant I had to supplement more. I hated it! The next morning as soon as the lactation consultant was on duty I had her come to my room. She showed me how to hold Anna and how to get her to latch on. It was a relief just knowing what to do. After that it got much easier but every time I had to supplement I hated it! Finally I decided to stop supplementing and see what happened. Guess what happened my milk came in and she got plenty from me. We nursed for almost 2 years. I loved every minute and I still miss it!

Tips I Wish I Had Known

  1. Talk to the lactation person at the hospital as soon as you can after delivery. They say breastfeeding comes naturally but for a lot of moms it really doesn't.

  2. Start putting Lansinoh on your nipp1es about 2 weeks before delivery. This will help prevent cracking when you first start nursing.

  3. When you take your shower don't use soap on your nipp1es. That will simply dry them out which causes cracking or splitting.

  4. Know that nursing is not always easy. Sometimes it is very HARD!

  5. Don't be afraid to try the different positions. When Anna was first born she was so little we had to do the football hold (her feet down by my side and holding her head in my hand to get her there) as she got bigger that one didn't work so good so we had to go to the cradle hold (holding her across your stomach).

  6. Pumping is even harder than nursing (or at least it was for me.) I never could figure it all out. Definitely talk to someone if you are going to need to pump!

  7. RELAX!!! If you aren't relaxed you won't have a let down which will lead to a crying baby. I had this problem a few times and as soon as I could make myself relax it was all better.

  8. Resign yourself to sleeping in a bra for a while. Otherwise you will have milk everywhere!

  9. Be sure to get a nursing bra. Typically you will need a size larger than you have while you are pregnant. However, don't run out and buy 3 bras in that size buy 1 just in case, you might need one larger or smaller.

  10. You don't need special pajamas or clothes really. You can get a night gown with buttons or if you wear pajamas you can either get one with a top with buttons or just pull it up and over.

  11. You should not get blisters. If you are getting blisters the latch is wrong. See someone for help.

  12. Buy stock in nursing pads. Don't forget to take them with you to the hospital. The minute your milk comes in you will start leaking.

  13. Enjoy each and every moment of this special bonding. It doesn't matter if you do it for 6 weeks or 2 years it is an incredible bonding experience.

  14. If or when you get engorged get a hot shower. It will do you wonders! If you are engorged enough you can even watch the milk shoot out.

  15. You can use cabbage leaves to help engorgement as well but be careful because it will effect your supply if you use them to long.

  16. To help boost your supply you can eat almonds and drink tons of water. There are also some things you can find at the health food stores to help like Fenugreek.

  17. When they start getting teeth you will probably need to adjust the latch.

  18. Never be afraid to ask for help. If you don't want to talk to someone you know or don't know anyone to ask go to

Reasons to breastfeed

  1. You always have milk! No carting stuff around with you.

  2. You don't have to make bottles in the middle of the night or any other time.

  3. You don't have to wash bottles!

  4. It is the healthiest food for your baby.

  5. It does create an amazing bond.

  6. My husband's favorite: It is FREE!!!

  7. Maybe this one is my husband's favorite: You get a nice pair of girls!

  8. You can soothe your baby at the drop of a hat or a lift of a shirt. ;)

  9. It is great when they are sick. It keeps them hydrated much better than anything else.

  10. They tend to have fewer ear infections and colds, generally speaking. I know there are tons of bottle babies that don't have many either but as a whole this is true.

The Down side

  1. You are the only one that can do it.

  2. You might not be comfortable doing it in public at first. I use to sit in the car to do it or if I was shopping go to a dressing room. Anna was to nosey so she would constantly pop off and I didn't want to show my goods to the world.

  3. You have to sleep in a bra lol.

I am not telling you to breastfeed or you are a horrible mother. I think it is a personal preference. It was much easier to me than bottles. I tell people all the time I took the lazy way out lol. I did occasionally supplement even after we brought her home but typically she would do that projectile spit up thing so I stopped doing that. Nursing worked for us and I hope to have the chance to do it again.

Incidentally, if you don't want to nurse you can use cabbage leaves in your bra to help dry yourself up.

What works for you? If you want more great tips go HERE!


  1. It's me (not your preacher's wife). That was so funny. Anyway, this is a GREAT post. I think many women are intimidated about breastfeeding and embarrassed to ask for help or say they need help. I mean "it's natural, right? What could be so hard?" WRONG. I was a labor and delivery nurse for 13 years, helping other women with their breastfeeding questions....then it was my turn to be the mommy. It was a new story. Anyway, I did breastfeed, for almost a year. It was very rewarding.
    Thanks for posting all the helpful tips, for other mothers.

  2. I nursed my son until he was 13 months old. By that time, he was done with daytime nursings and we were down to the just-before-bed nursing, which was more for comfort than anything else. So that one was probably the hardest to give up, but it was so great to be able to let someone else put him to bed.

    And as for being sick, I don't think he had more than a runny nose (due to teething) for those first 13 months. He's now almost 17 months and since we quit nursing he's had croup & pneumonia (at the same time!), two ear infections, and some virus that's been going around the church nursery. I almost wish I could go back to nursing!

    And you're right - the concept is simple, but it's not always easy. There were days I completely understood why people quit.

  3. Great post! I nursed both my boys until they were at least 12 months old. It really can be hard at first (even the second time). When my boys were both newborns, I found we really clicked with breastfeeding when I was lying down with them beside me. Once they learned that way, I switched to the cradle hold. You just have to find what works for you :-).

  4. Thanks for your comment on my blog! I've been nursing my son for 6 1/2 months now, and it's been such a great journey! My advice to other women considering breastfeeding: start educating yourself early--before the baby is born! My favorite book was "So That's What They're For!" It was humorous and super educational. The lactation consultants are so overworked, and I found so many of my answers in this book after I delivered while in the hospital. Knowledge and asking questions is the key!

  5. I love breastfeeding! Thanks for a great post!

  6. great post. i'm still nursing my 14-month-old, and i'm so glad for the experience for us both.

    my big tip--wool nursing pads. they stay dry and are breathable, and i believe they're the reason i never had any nipple/breast problems (along with my baby having a good latch, of course.) plus, you only need 2-3 pairs.

    when i was starting, i love using a nursing cover, and i give them as shower gifts. it's easier to nurse ANYWHERE if you don't feel worried about exposing your boobs or anything else:)

  7. This is a great post! I appreciate your honesty and helpful tips. I have nursed two boys now: the first for 13-14mos (til shortly after I got pregnant w/ number two) and the next for 16-17mos. They were very different experiences but I wouldn't change either of them. Breast is best!

  8. I'm 3 months away from delivery, and i'm pasting a copying this to remind myself of your tips, later. Thanks :)

  9. Anonymous8:19 AM

    What great tips - I wish I had read these before my first was born. I was determined to nurse, but it was rough at first - cracked nipples (OWWW!!), you name it. After nursing all 3 for a year each though - I wouldn't change anything. Thanks for such a thorough list of info on breastfeeding!

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