Today I’m sharing a little about my breastfeeding journey, some tips and what has been working for me.
My son is 2 months now. Typing that out looks crazy to me- it feels like he’s been here so much longer than that because our life is so different now. I won’t delve too deeply into my labor story, but it was LONG. He went a week over and I was induced at 41 weeks. 20 hours of labor later, he popped out at 8lbs 6oz 21in.
The week after he was born was an absolute haze of emotions, HORMONES, exhaustion and anxiety. I was obviously happy to have my son finally born, but to be honest, I was slammed with a lot of postpartum anxiety for the first week. I was trying to breastfeed in the hospital, but getting him to latch was much harder than I thought. His mouth was so small when he was born and honestly I was just so all over the place that it was beyond stressful. The nurses ended up saying that we would need to supplement him with formula because he was dehydrated and because of that and the fact that he stayed inside me so long after my water broke we ended up staying in the hospital almost 5 days.
I was so upset. Obviously there isn’t anything wrong with giving your baby formula- fed is best, right? But I was so set and determined to breastfeed that I was heartbroken and left feeling more anxious than I already was. The hospital had an absolutely incredible lactation specialist (if you’re a local lady, email me for her info!) that made me feel so much better about everything and gave us a ton of tools and help.
But still, our start to breastfeeding proved to be incredibly difficult for all of us. I felt stressed, Carlitos was fussy and hungry because he couldn’t hold a good latch and Carl just felt like he couldn’t do anything to help. So we transitioned to pumping. I was planning to pump after the first month anyways since I needed to go back to work part time, but I started exclusively pumping part way through my hospital stay.
Pumping has been a major lifesaver for us! It’s still exhausting for sure but I’m fortunate to be producing enough milk to keep up with my hungry little guy. Once I started pumping, we were able to use just my milk before we left the hospital and he was doing great! It was also nice because it meant that Carl and I could take turns waking up with him at night and that our parents could also feed him (hello naptime!). I have my Spectra S1 pump (love that it has a rechargeable battery!!) and a mobile pump that I can use to pump on the go (HIGHLY recommend- it’s a total lifesaver!) and aim to pump every 2-3 hours, store in these bags and use these bottles.
Funnily enough, now that he’s getting bigger and growing, we are actually now doing both pumping and nursing! I decided to try again after he hit about a month and a half, and to both our surprise, he not only latched on well, he nursed on both breasts for 30 minutes. I don’t know if it’s because I’m more comfortable/confident with him or him being older has helped him jump on better, but I’m not complaining!
So now, when I’m home with him I try to nurse him. It’s such a beautiful way to bond and I feel so connected to him in our little moments together. I am still pumping throughout the day to keep up the supply and we use the bottle whenever I’m not there or at night and that’s been working for us!
Doing both pumping and nursing is definitely tiring and uncomfortable at times. I found nursing to be way more painful than pumping- maybe becuae I was used to pumping first? Anyone else? So when Lillemer reached out and sent over their Lil Buds Breast Comfort Packs, I was beyond grateful! They’re gel-free pads that you can either freeze or microwave and stick right in your nursing/pumping bra. They come in a variety of cute patterns and are so incredibly soothing!
I’ve also been trying to be better about staying hydrated and eating a lot of oats since they are supposed to be good for milk production. Target carries these cookies that are filled with a ton of great ingredients for breastfeeding/pumping mamas!
It’s been a roller coaster journey to navigate breastfeeding/pumping (which is why it feels like we’ve been at this for way longer than 2 months!), but I am so happy with where we are now.
If you’re a first time expecting mom, I recommend working with a lactation specialist NOW before your little one gets here. I wish I would have listened to people who advised me to do so.
Have any tips or stories on breastfeeding/pumping? I’d love to read in the comments!
*Lillemer Packs were gifted but as always all opinions are my own!