Thursday, June 21, 2012

So you wanna talk boobs?

Warning: I will use the words breasts, boobs, nipples etc. in this post so look away if that bothers you! 

I've gotten a lot of questions in 'real life' and a couple of emails asking how breast feeding is going, most of these questions came from people knowing how hard of a time I had last time around. 

I had a milk supply issue with Jasper, but it was finally to a point where it was going okay, not good, but getting better and then I went in for my 6 week check up and the OB convinced me to get the birth control shot. Within a few days my milk was basically non existent and within a week or so it was completely gonezo. 

This time around I was even more determined to make it work. I knew from my supply issues last time that I needed to be proactive about those issues before I had them. So by talking to the AMAZING lactation consultants at Rose, we decided the best thing to do would be to nurse, and then pump right after. I started this the day after my c-section. 

The first days (and weeks) were HARD. I couldn't even sit up unassisted- so to nurse I would need the help of Drew and usually a nurse or LC to help prop me up. I needed about 7 pillows to help me hold up  T. I was in so much pain I couldn't even hold my daughter unassisted. But after a couple of days it did get easier. 

Pumping after every feeding sucked to be honest. From start to finish, nursing her and than pumping took about an hour and 15 minutes. Than the entire process would be repeated at the MOST 2 hrs later, usually less. But I'm still so glad I did it because I have had no milk supply issues this time around.

After 8-9 days I stopped pumping after each feeding and went to just pumping once in the morning and once right before I go to bed. At this point it's probably not necessary anymore, but I give a bottle of pumped milk in the middle of the night and the rest I put in the deep freeze we just bought 6 weeks ago. So far I have between 700-800 oz stored in the freezer! I get a weird satisfaction every time I go to put a bag full of 8 oz bags in the deep freezer. I love knowing that if I have to quit nursing next week or next month or whenever, I will still have a decent supply of milk for her. 

Over the last 8.5  weeks I've encountered some breast feeding problems. From overactive let down to mastitis (twice)  latch problems and cracked, bloody nipples and I'm sure other issues that I can't even come up with now, but I'm proud to say I (we) have fought through them and are going strong now. 

Obviously everyone can agree that 'breast is best'. But what I want people to know who are uncertain about breast feeding, is that it doesnt HAVE to be all or nothing. You don't have to breast feed around the clock to give your child what he/she needs. T gets one bottle (occasionally 2) bottles of half formula half pumped breast milk a day. We had to start this in the hospital, giving a tiny bit of formula to supplement, and I'm okay with continuing it. It works for her, it works for me, it works for us. 

I had an original goal of making it 6 weeks of breast feeding. Than the goal changed a few weeks ago to three months, and now it's 6 months, or maybe even longer? I know that if I was so intent on making sure she never got a drop of formula, that it would be even harder than it is, and I'd be more likely to have given up by now. But by allowing her to have a bottle in the middle of the night (she nurses 45 min at least and a bottle cuts that time in HALF) by giving my very sore nipples a break at night I get the strength and energy to nurse her all day and evenings. I'm completely okay with her getting 2 oz of formula a day- she still gets 90% of breast milk. 



So if you are considering breast feeding, but don't know if you CAN do it, or can do it 100%, it's okay to just do what you can. I look at it the way I look at feeding Jasper. We buy organic food. Mostly. Maybe 75%. But that doesn't mean I'm never going to let him have potato chips, or cake, or any other processed crap. He will get that. I just want the majority of his food to be whole, healthy, organic foods. So that's what I'm giving to Tindra as well. 

18 comments:

  1. I had a hard time breastfeeding Judah. I ended up with mastitis 3 times and he wouldn't latch on for 5 months. So he was getting expressed milk through a bottle for the first 5 months of his life. Finally he started nursing and we nursed until he was almost 2. We stopped when I was about 5 months pregnant with Ora. She didn't nurse for the first three months and got expressed milk in those months.

    I didn't get to nurse Ariah because of meds I was on. :(

    If I could make it through those months so can everyone else :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. uhm gross. breastfeeding is something that NOBODY should ever have to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. breastfeeding is gross? What about it is gross? It's the most natural, beautiful thing.

      Delete
    2. someone is sucking on your nipple. how is that Not gross?

      Delete
    3. You are a deep person, Anonymous. Do you drink cows milk?

      Delete
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