Never did I think I would be posting about breastfeeding on Mom on the Run. Since becoming a mom again in November, breastfeeding has become an important part of my daily routine. I want to celebrate the week by posting about my experiences for the last 8 months in hope to help other new moms who may need a boost a confidence or a sympathetic ear to listen.
In the beginning…….
Breastfeeding was a natural choice for me. Like with every major life decision I make I did my research and made a pro and con list on how to feed Baby A. I was determined to make breastfeeding work and went into the hospital with a very optimistic and open mind. Please know I am not one of the women who chastise those who do not breastfeed their babies. Everyone needs to choose what is best for them when it comes to feeding their babies. For me the pros won out and I was a women on a mission. The hospital that I delivered the baby at is a Baby-Friendly Facility by Baby-Friendly USA, part of UNICEF’S Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, so they encourage new moms to try breastfeeding. The offered pre-natal classes that also helped prepare me for what was to come. I took every class I could and felt good about my decision. Here is what sold me on breastfeeding.
Some fabulous reasons to breast feed: (As seen on www.skinies.com)
I was guaranteed quiet bonding time with baby every time she/he was hungry!
Formula costs $2,500 – $4,000 per year. I’d rather spend it at the mall.
I could cheat on my fat burning workout – it takes about 500 calories a day to produce the milk. Yeah!
I was too much of a zombie to prepare a bottle at 2am – the bottles were warm and ready!
I never came to my six-week check-up pregnant. Fertility is delayed with breastfeeding.
I wanted my babies to be little whiz-brains. IQ levels are an average of 8 points higher in children who were breastfed.
I thought it was cool when I found out that the breast detects the enzymes in a baby’s mouth and tailor-makes the milk to meet the needs of that individual baby. You can’t get that from formula!
I didn’t need a gas mask to change my baby’s diaper. Most breastfed babies have mild stools.
Happy baby means happy mommy. Research shows there are anti-infective properties in breast milk, which causes breastfed babies to be half as likely to get sick during their first year as compared to formula fed babies.
I couldn’t beat the convenience of being able to pull off to the side of the road with a ready dinner for baby when I was on a long trip.
The Birth of Baby A……….
Baby A arrived via c-section at 11:33 AM on November 17th. She came out perfect at 7 pounds 11 oz. and 19 inches long. My charge nurse was the most amazing person ever and she guided me through how to first feed her. About an hour after surgery Baby A began to latch immediately. I was so excited! A few hours later that excitement became frustration and tears. Baby A was having a hard time latching and I was feeling like a failure. The hospital staff could not be more helpful and through the bleeding, pain, and tears. By the end of my 4 day stay I was feeling a tiny bit more confident, but I knew I had a lot to learn.
When I arrived home breastfeeding continued not to feel natural to me. I knew I needed help and I called a lactation consultant. This was probably the best phone call I ever made. She came to my front door 24 hours later ready to help. This was the day that I realized that I had made the right decision. She helped me with the baby’s latch, finding the most comfortable position to feed the baby(football hold works best for us), and reassurance that I was doing a great job. It was was her words of reassurance and encouragement that got me through that first week.
There have been bumps in the road. I have had thrush (that took a month to completely clear), an occurrence of mastitis, and pain. All have gotten better as time has gone by. Eight months later and we are still going strong. I have had some things that have helped me along the way. I present to you Mom on the Run’s essential breastfeeding tools that I can’t live without.
Jodie, founder of Skinies, has nursed 6 babies. She is my nursing hero! After many failed attempts to find a nursing cami that fit well and was user friendly, she decided to create her own. This mom is so glad she did. They are awesome! I am able to wear my favorite nursing bra and pre-pregnancy shirts with this cami. In a flip of my shirt I can comfortably nurse Baby A. I love that my belly is not showing and I can discretely hide “the girls” while feeding the baby. The camis come in bra colors and multiple sizes. I love this cami so much that I have 3 of them. Here are some other added benefits of Skinies:
- Sheer edging for a sophisticated, elegant touch.
- Easy – no flaps, no snaps, no fuss!
- Covers entire mid-section and cleavage.
- Stylish slimming comfort.
- Fits every cup size.
These make a great baby shower gift as well because they are so unique.
There are dozens of nursing covers out there and I have tried most of them. They were either too small, too big, ugly, and/or hot and sweaty for Baby A. Then Kathy, from Secretly Nursing, encouraged me to try her nursing shawl. I selected a print that matched my diaper bag and it has been nursing in public bliss every since. Kathy has several designs to choose from and they are beautiful. Most nursing covers are literally a piece of cloth with neck strap. Secretly Nursing Covers are made of lightweight breathable cotton. The nursing shawls have a single button that adjusts for comfort, making it a clothing choice for nursing moms. They can be easily folded and placed in your diaper bag for on-the-go Mom’s like myself. I love supporting a Mom inspired company and I encourage you to check out the website to see the variety of patterns they have to offer.
When I went back to work after being home for 3 months I really struggled with the fact that I had to return back to work. I bought myself a Medela Breastpump and went sadly back to work. What made pumping at work easier was my Pump Ease bra. I was able to get the pump set up and then continue to do my work while pumping. (Of course in a private office ). If you need to pump this is by far the best way to do it. There are many hands free bras on the market but this one is the best. Money well spent!!!
Without too much TMI this salve was a lifesaver for me. Motherlove’s organic nipple cream has a zero rating (zero toxins) on EWG’s skin deep database and is made with 100% certified organic ingredients. An all natural herbal salve that quickly relieves the discomfort of sore, cracked nursing nipples. All ingredients are safe for ingestion, so it does not need to be washed off prior to breastfeeding baby. I buy this for every new mom I know as part of their baby shower gift because it worked so well for me.
Don’t you love this packaging! Bamboobies are the new choice for mothers who want a washable breast pad that doesn’t leak or show through clothing. Bamboo, organic cotton and hemp make these reusable breast pads the most absorbent and unbelievably soft nursing pads around.
Regular Bamboobies are lined with organic bamboo velour to soothe tender nursing nipples on the inside and have a waterproof outer layer to protect your clothes. They’re heart-shaped to cup your breast better than a circular pad – no creases means no lines. Bamboobies have a hemp and organic cotton inner layer to absorb light leaks.
TMI- I was what the nursing world likes to call an “over producer” and I leaked a lot especially at night. I can tell you first hand that Bamboobies worked! There was nothing worse waking up soaked. I loved that these were re-usable and washed very nicely.
6. Nursing in Public (NIP) Essential Item- My Breast Friend Pillow:
Like every new mom in America I registered for a Boppy. I had heard other moms rave how they loved their Boppy’s and that I could not live without one. I have been blessed with rather large feeding devices and the Boppy did not support my needs. Well my Boppy was useful for one thing, and it was not breastfeeding.
Baby A loved it to sit in. She actually now uses it on floor to crawl over and act like she is training for an obstacle course. Now that is cute but it did not serve the purpose of supporting me during breastfeeding. As a busy Mom I am traveling to dance classes, athletic events, and general everyday going ons. Lots of times I need to nurse on the go and I did not want to miss out on my two daughters many events. The My Breast friend Pillow has saved me in so many places. I strap it on and I am good to feed the baby. There are so many benefits to using this pillow. My favorite is the support it gives me. I suffer from back spasms and My Breast friend Pillow helps keep my back supported. The pillow goes with me everywhere and in fact it will make an appearance on a Southwest flight to Disney and than eventually in the Magic Kingdom.
Thank you for bearing with me for this long post. I really wanted to share this information with the blog world and celebrate with my other breastfeeding moms. Happy Day