i know i briefly touched on breastfeeding in my 1 yo update but i thought i should give a little more to this topic. i know its become such a hot topic in the mom community; breast or bottle and such a stir in public spaces if a mom does choose to feed in public that i just had to jot down some of my personal thoughts and answers to some of the questions i got asked a lot.
did it hurt?
heck yes it did ! in the beginning i would literally feel my uterus painfully contracting with each suckle and i would scrunch my toes and hands up as i braced for the oncoming clamp down from my baby. i did not “get my nipples ready” as the women in my family had advised beforehand but honestly i don’t know how much that would have helped (they said use a rag in the shower, or a comb O_O ). i had to use Lansinoh gel/cream stuff after every feed til the cracked and sore feeling didn’t happen. after a few weeks though the pain subsided and it became a natural thing for baby and i and i could hold conversations and do other things while nursing.
i don’t think i ever had a latching issue although while in the hospital after delivery i saw a lactation consultant twice. i used the cradle and cross cradle method and this worked absolutely fine for me.
for how long?
i chose to nurse for 1 year. i always knew i wanted to nurse my baby and planned to do it as long as i could. i knew that babies were allowed cows milk after a year and that teeth should be coming in at the same time so it was my personal preference to not continue nursing after that point.
how did you do it for so long?
i ate a lot and drank a lot of water. ok i didn’t eat that much but i tried to always remember my body needed fuel to make milk and breastmilk is composed of 83% water so i tried to be conscious of that when considering my daily food and liquid intake. after my maternity leave i had to go back to work and that meant i had to pump. getting the right pump for “full time pumping” is essential. i wasnt pumping full time but if its not the right pump it’ll decrease your supply. i used the medela freestyle which worked out great. and whenever i felt like my supply was dipping i tried to drink more water, stress about things less and nurse more. the more you nurse, the more your body thinks it needs to produce more milk. [so as my 1 year mark approached i started to pump/nurse less.]
yes i have nursed in public! i generally carried around a blanket with me and would use that as a cover. i am not a fan of bare feeding (is that the right term) but i don’t want to feel shy or embarrassed about feeding my child. i have nursed in restaurants, in the docs office waiting room, dressing rooms, in my car, while guests were over, just to name a few. i hate the people are shaming women for doing it and i will not be made to feel bad about something that’s so natural.
how did you stop?
this was a question i had for people but not many gave me a straightforward answer.i began to ween by giving her the boobies less. like on weekends i would give her a bottle and not pump, and gradually my supply went down. then i started trying to feed her only once a day on them, and i wore a sports bra with nursing pads for an occasional leaks. because of the gradual decrease in use i didn’t feel the discomfort of that full and painful tender feeling. and after i stopped feeding her completely i gave her bottles using the leftover supply of milk popsicles i had which lasted about a few weeks and then she transitioned quite well onto whole milk ! successful journey for us both and now we bond in other ways like cuddling 🙂