As I sit here and pump, It seems like a perfect time to multi task and write a little about the first weeks of breastfeeding as a new mom. It also happens to be World Breastfeeding Week too! (go figure!)
1. Get Ready for Lots and Lots and of Sitting! (Then add more sitting on top of all that sitting)
Lets discuss being tied to a chair by either nursing, bottle feedings, or pumping. This in its self is totally new territory for me. And I have to say a little claustrophobic and constraining. Some woman may find it amazing. They may feel like feeding their child every two hours for 45 minutes is "beautiful" and "nurturing to their soul". However, as much as I enjoy the fact that I, single handedly, can provide all my child needs to survive. I also find it exhausting and limiting to my usually active, “get up and go” lifestyle.
So, after approximately 1 week of sitting exclusively in my brown recliner, I was ready to figure out a balance to it all. You know, before I had a major meltdown!
2. What Could Go Wrong? Breastfeeding is Natural. (LIES, LIES, LIES!!!!)
After my 3rd week of feeding and pumping, I found myself in a little predicament. Breast engorgement, plugged milk ducts and milk blisters! No one ever seems to tell you how freaking gnarly breastfeeding can be. So that is exactly what I am going to tell you right now; "BREASTFEEDING IS HARD, TIME CONSUMING AND EVERYTHING CAN GO WRONG!".
Do you have the right type of pump? Does your flange size fit correctly? Is your baby latching? Does she have a tongue tie? Are you draining your breasts? The list goes on and on! And If any of these things are slightly out of wack; get ready for some really problems Momma!
For something that is suppose to come so "natural" there is a shit ton that can go wrong. Am I right Mommas?
3. Get A Lactation Consultant & Support Group ASAP!
God bless Lactation Consultants. That is all I can say. I quickly booked a lactation appointment with Katie Madden. Katie has been the Director of Balanced Breastfeeding at The Birth Center in Wilmington, DE since 2009.
Katies approach was refreshing. No matter if you breastfeed, only pump or formula feed; in her eyes, there was no judgement. Because, no two women are the same. Some women over produce (#me), some women can't produce enough and some women just "down right "don't want to breastfeed at all" (which I totally understand!!!)". It's all about finding your own "BALANCE".
I left the lactation appointment with a game plan and some small achievable goals.
4. Pumps, Pumping and What You Never Knew You Needed to Know. (does that even make sense?)
I pump! Nope, I do not want to be the only one that can feed my child. If you are like me then finding a pump that works for you is a must! I wish there was a lactation class before giving birth that prepares you for pumping. Because OMG people, If you thought breastfeeding was hard... pumping can be even harder to figure out!
I ordered the Ameda Finesse Pump through my insurance before I had any clue what I needed. After using the Ameda for about 6 weeks and having a lot of problems, my lactation consultant recommended using the Medela Pump. My Sister-in-law, the saint that she is, let me barrow her Medela to test out the difference.
The second I turned on the Medela, I realized I had been using a torture device disguised as an Ameda Breast pump for the past 6 weeks! The difference was night and day! I 100% recommend the Medela over the Ameda; No Hesitation!!!
In My Conclusion & Honest Opinion;
I, along with every breastfeeding mom out there, am absolutely NUTS! (in a good way of course)
8 weeks later and I am "crazily" still at it! My body seems to be adjusting to the "New Normal". However, I give myself full permission at any time to pull the plug on this whole operation!
I set small goals for myself with this whole breastfeeding silliness. "Can I make it 2 weeks? 2 months?". My next goal is 3 months. With each goal that I set and achieve; I celebrate!
Maybe I will make it to the coveted 6 months or even 1 year of breastfeeding. Or maybe I will decide I am done at 3 months. The bottom line for all you breastfeeding-amazing-super-moms out there is, YOU ALL ROCK! No matter how long or short you did it for; that time can never be undone! SO BRAVO!
- AND -
For all you Mommas that are super self-aware and knew breastfeeding wasn't right for you from the get-go; YOU ROCK TOO!
Because keeping these little kiddos fed is no easy task regardless of how we decide to do it!
Goodness gracious, Who knew boobs were this complicated?!?!
Wishing all you Moms sleep and an abundant milk supply!
(but not too "abundant", because that can cause serious issues...)