Breastfeeding. Let's talk about you and Bebe. Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be let's talk about....
Breastfeeding. Not what I thought it would be at all, although I’m not really sure what I expected either. Breastfeeding is truly a labor of love. TV and movies show us how “beautiful” and “easy” it is. Social Media condemns us if we don’t. For some it comes more easily and for others it takes time, but no one really discusses it. Why am I writing this post? To tell you my experience. If it is something you truly want, and you feel it may not be working...don’t give up! It is not impossible, you may be one of those (like myself) where it takes some work.
Now I want to preface this post with I believe “FED IS BEST”, and you Mama’s out there know what is best for YOU and that is ultimately the best decision for you and your baby! This is just purely my experience, thoughts and things I have learned along the way!
There are many articles that discuss the importance of immediately having skin to skin contact, trying to nurse the moment your baby is born, pumping as soon as possible. Well, I had an emergency c-section, no skin-to-skin for almost 24 hours, my baby was fed formula for the first couple of days, and we had issues latching - and by issues I mean not interested at all. After getting situated post-surgery, finally getting a room and being somewhat reprimanded about pumping (I had no idea what was going on, or really what to do), I went at it. It was more of a sink or swim situation and I just went with it. The little Avocado and I were not together right away, so while working on latching when possible, I was pumping to supplement until I will able to produce enough milk that we no longer needed to use formula. After leaving the hospital, I was still determined but was beginning to think that I may just be pumping. After making some progress (literal baby steps), being home a few weeks going through all of the trials and tribulations of going from boob to bottle back to boob...that magical day finally came! :::Cue angels singing::: And we’ve been great ever since!
*Remember, if you decided not to breastfeed, it’s not working for you, or you don’t like it - it is your choice and whatever you choose is the RIGHT choice!*
Through this true labor of love, this is what I can tell you:
INVEST IN A GOOD BREAST PUMP
(BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR INSURANCE AS MOST PLANS WILL STILL COVER THIS!)
Do your research. Luckily there is not a huge market for breast pumps so there are not too many to choose from. For myself (after doing some research) I went with the SPECTRA S2. REAL TALK: I was sold on the “gentle” reviews (this word should really be the only word associated with this topic) and my insurance covered it! SA-WEET! The caveat though is that the this spectra model only works by being plugged in. * I recently found out there is an “ALL NEW” rechargeable option! So ladies I would get on that!
One word. Leakage. It’s a fact, it happens and always when you’re not prepared! I love BAMBOOBIES. I had received a pair at the BIG CITY MOMS Baby Shower event in NYC, and went on to buy more! I love the playful name (I told you I’m a sucker for marketing), they are heart shaped, SUPER SOFT, Washable/Reusable and they are very discreet! The discretion factor and comfort are the key factors here. Let’s just revisit that word gentle again ;)
*be sure to check out the Big City Moms Baby Shower near you! You will come back with some killer swag - well worth it!!!
They are your best friend. Make sure you have one with good support! I also recommend a hands free pumping bra - nothing like multi-tasking! I was gifted this one from Lasinoh and it is WONDERFUL! You will be a multi-tasking queen in no time! I’m currently still seeking a good high impact nursing sports bra…. Just putting that out into the universe ;)
FUEL YOUR BOD
Breastfeeding/Pumping is essentially a workout. To keep up your supply you should be consuming an additional 500 calories per day. So fuel up with those good for you eats and stay hydrated! It is said that OATMEAL is great for lactation (I eat a full bowl everyday), and be sure to keep some easy to eat, grab-and-go snacks to keep you satisfied throughout the day. Some of my personal faves are apples, bananas, and Justin’s Almond Butter (OR PB!) to go packets (these packets have been a serious go to for a satisfying healthy snack! Yay protein!)
TAKE IT AS IT GOES AND BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Easier said than done, but try not to stress. Stress is not good for anyone, and especially not for you and your baby. Your life just got flipped upside down and everyone’s experience is different! Just remember … You’re awesome, keep doing your thang Mama!