I wanted to share some posts on various topics of parenthood because I have so many thoughts swirling in my head every day. I am breastfeeding our little guy and so far it’s going really well! I’ve had a couple of bumps in the road, but overall I’m really happy with breastfeeding so far.
It’s crazy to think that I’ve spent the majority of the past 4 weeks feeding this guy. Breastfeeding is HARD. But I am very lucky that it works SO well for us (knock on wood…so far) and it’s actually one of my favorite parts of being a mom so far.
I had my first shot at nursing him about 3 hours after he was born. Definitely not ideal. It did NOT go well. By that time, it was midnight and the lactation consultants at the hospital had already left for the day and we were exhausted from no sleep/food (as I mentioned in the birth story). So it was up to me and Adam to figure it out. We spent like an hour trying to get him to latch on. Adam jokingly says now that he held him in some awkward lunge position for like an hour straight to try to get him at the right angle. Because we didn’t know what we were doing, we caused some injuries to me (owww) which isn’t uncommon, but I wasn’t prepared for how painful it was. I was devastated at how horrible it went and thought breastfeeding wouldn’t work for us. The nurses ended up supplementing with a bottle of formula that first night. And I woke up the next day in a TON of pain.
Thankfully, the lactation consultants came to our rescue that day and we made GREAT strides in figuring it out. Me and the little guy were learning together. When it finally worked the first time, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy in my life. I kept wondering if he was actually getting anything to eat (since your milk isn’t in until 2-4 days after birth and they’re eating small amounts of colostrum at first), but once I felt that Oxytocin hormone kick in (the love/bonding hormone that makes both of us super tired) I knew it was working. He would get ‘milk drunk’ (so cute!) and I would feel SO tired.
After several meetings with the lactation consultants, I felt so much more prepared and more confident in breastfeeding. I’m happy to say that I’ve exclusively breastfed him the entire 4 weeks, aside from the first night of formula feeding. I don’t see anything wrong with formula feeding and I know some people aren’t able to breastfeed, it was just something I really really wanted to do. I feel beyond blessed that it is working so far.
The pain from the damage we did the first night lasted about 2 weeks. It got significantly better after about 4-5 days, but I still had some initial latch pain for a couple of weeks. I know they say it’s not supposed to be painful, but every girl I’ve talked to said they had pain in the beginning. I think it takes time for your lady parts to ‘toughen’ up. But after that, the pain has pretty much been nonexistent. I have also had a couple of clogged ducts, but focused on massage, heat, and lots of nursing on that side and they cleared pretty quickly, thankfully.
So, every 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 hours for the past 4 weeks, I’ve nursed my babe. Feeding a baby (no matter which way you do it) is crazy time-consuming! I feel chained to the glider or couch a lot. I’ve been lucky to have Adam home for the first 4 weeks with me to grab me a water bottle (the thirst is crazy!) or a burp cloth.
I have found it so emotional to share the connection of breastfeeding with the baby. It amazed me in those early weeks when he would open wide and latch on. He figured out how to do that! I know they have those instincts built in, but he definitely wasn’t opening wide like that from the very beginning. So cute. Now that he’s more alert and older, I love the eye contact we share when he’s eating during the day. I’ve cried multiple times during nursing sessions. It’s so sweet!
I’m really hoping that it continues to go so well. I haven’t started pumping yet, but I know I’ll have to soon to get a supply built up for when I have to leave him for an evening (Nooo!) and of course when I go back to work (I can’t even think about that right now). It’s just so convenient to whip out a ready-made ‘bottle’ for him anytime and not have to prepare it in advance or clean-up afterwards. I’m lucky that we have a pumping room at work and when I work from home I’ll even be able to pump and work at the same time.
My goal is to make it a year breastfeeding him. We’ll see if I make it! Every day is a success in my book! Even if I just make it a couple of months, I’ll be proud of myself. It’s a lot of work – not only the time commitment, but also ‘giving up’ a little bit of your body. But I know it’s so good for him and that’s all that matters.
Oh and the weight loss from breastfeeding is epic! : ) I’m constantly hungry but only 3-4 pounds above my pre-baby weight now! What a nice treat after pregnancy and childbirth, huh? : )
How has it been 4 weeks since he’s been here?! In some ways, the time has flown by, and in other ways, it’s seems like time has gone really slow. Either way, I am madly in love with this guy and having so much fun being a parent with my best friend. <3