Saturday, August 31, 2019

our breastfeeding journey

First off never in a million years did I think I would be writing a blog post about breasteeding. When thinking back to my first few years blogging things that were important to me then we handbags, Nordstrom's bp department and which shoes went with my outfit. Although those things are still very much important in my life recently nipple cream, pumping, and my never ending water bottle have taken over! 

disclaimer: I wrote the first part of this post and shot these photos when Lyla was just a few weeks old. For some reason I never got around to sharing it. I am going to add my current  thoughts/experiences and where we are now (Lyla is 7 months) and how breastfeeding is going for us since starting solids.

written in Feb. 2019
When becoming pregnant with Lyla I knew immediately I wanted to breastfeed my baby. I have no judgment to anyone who chooses to not, but for me personally breastfeeding was important. I had heard horror stories about what happens those first few weeks when you and baby are adjusting so nervous was an understatement, luckily Lyla and I picked it up the night she was born. Today I am sharing 5 thing I 

(OH MY GOSH, how cute was my little new born? I miss that so much)

 5 things I have learnt from breastfeeding:

1. Always always make sure you have you water bottle next to you! As soon as Lyla starts feeding I get so thirsty and am instantly reaching for my water. It has become the running joke in the house, and probable annoying to Stephen and Sofia because they hear "can you please bring my water bottle to me?" multiple times a day.  

2. I have 15 burp cloths and yet I can never find it when she spits up. It is almost as though the couch the bed,  you name it eats the cloths! I frantically search around like a crazy person for these dang cloths, one would think I would have a better system. 

3. You become a slave to your baby! It doesn't matter what you have going on when baby is hungry you are feeding. Some days it seems all Lyla and I do is feed, change diaper, snuggle, cry, repeat. 

4. Nursing mostly in public is not easy! When we were in the hospital it was full on boobs out 24/7 both Lyla and I had skin to skin all day long. When we got home I struggled with having clothes on both of us, it added another element that just wasn't easy. Then we attempted feeding in public for the first time. It was hilarious to watch! Stephen holding the cover open for me so I could look down and place Lyla correctly all while trying to support her neck without my poppy pillow... oh man! Needless to say we tend to hang close to home!

5. I have never had boobs this big in my life and finding my clothes that once fit pre-pregnancy don't work. I spend 20 minutes a day trying to think of what top to put on that has easy access or can be pulled up modestly. Just another element to constant be thinking about... on top of everything these little newborns bring with them. 

written August 2019:
Lyla is now 7 months old and we are still almost exclusively breastfeeding with the occasional pumped bottle. I have learned SO much over the last 7 months, for the most part our breastfeeding journey has gone really well but there have been a few bumps in the road. I have shared on Instagram a few photos of Lyla with a sippy cup, her eating lots of solids, and sharing that I have been working lots this summer so here is a little recap of some FAQ. 

Lyla is solely breastfed, no formula for us. There just hasn't been a need, luckily I produce enough milk (sometimes too much!) that I am able to nurse or pump a bottle for the freezer or keep in the fridge. Since starting solids nothing has really changed with nursing. Lyla's current food schedule is:
7:00 - nurse
7:45 - breakfast - fruit puree (with probiotics + reflux medicine) + peanut butter toast
9:00 - nurse before nap (4-5 mins)
12:00 - lunch - usually whatever we are having
2:00 - nurse before nap (4-5 mins)
5:00/5:30 - dinner - veggie puree (with reflux medicine) + whatever we are having
6:30 - long nurse before bed (typically 10 mins)
4:30am - sometimes she wakes in the middle of the night and cant go back to sleep, a quick 4-5min nurse puts her back out instantly.

As of a couple weeks ago I have stopped pumping all together (for the most part).  With Lyla sleeping through the night I wasn't pumping and my milk ducts were getting clogged and leading to mastitis. At the beginning Lyla went down at 6/6:30 so I would pump at 10:30pm, or if I skipped the night pump I would pump first thing in the morning when I woke up. Recently I have been trying to cut out pumping all together however when I feel a clogged duct coming on I will pump to prevent a clogged duct or even mastitis. 

Lyla is also a reflux baby, has been since day one. Poor girl spits up 24/7, no rhyme or reason no pattern except allll the time. I held off putting her on medicine because she was gaining weight and my doctor suggest we try and wait it out until 6 months. Once we started her on solids the reflux was now causing discomfort and pain so I made the decision to put her on ranitidine twice a day. 

Bottles: We started giving Lyla a bottle of pumped milk nightly at 2 weeks old however with life getting busier I found it just easier and less work on me to nurse with not bottles unless absolutely needed.  Now that it is wedding season Lyla is back to taking bottles but only on the days I work. She will sometimes take 2-3 bottles in a day which seems to be working just fine. The other time she takes a bottle is when we are out enjoying adult beverages. This has been 2 weekends only, one of the weekends I got mastitis and the other my ducts were so clogged that I couldn't function for 2 days. I have decided during this breastfeeding journey I don't typically drink enough to where I can't nurse. To me the pain afterwards just is not worth the enjoyment of alcohol lol (my 21 year old self is shaking her head right now!)

Sippy Cup: We bought a cheap starter sippy cup when Lyla was about 6.5 months. Filled with water she gets her cup with meals and if its a super hot day when we are out of the house. I believe at 6 months it is safe for babies to have water (always check with your pediatrician) and although she gets enough hydration from breastmilk I have no issue with her having a little water throughout the day. 

Solids: A mix of purees and led weaning is what we have chosen. I have gotten many many opinions on this and although I am thankful for everyones advice we are doing what is best for Lyla (and ourselves). It seems to be working great, she loves her veggie and fruit purees (I make them all myself and pulled straight from the garden or handpicked from the orchard) so I know exactly what she is getting. I actually have a post about this I am currently working on and will go live soon!

All in all I am so happy with jour breastfeeding journey. I never imagines it being such large part of my life, I had hoped it would work out well but was open to anything that would be best for Lyla. My goal is to nurse until she is one but we will see how Lyla does and I am open to anything that is best for her!

Which ever way you are feeding your baby just know it is prefect for them. So much stress on what is right and what is wrong, to me its right for them if its right for you!


Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I wasn't able to breastfeed, I tried and failed, my girls wouldn't latch on right taking only the smallest bit of nipple they could and spitting it out after only seconds. So I bottle feed them expressed breastmilk for about 10-12 weeks

Rainbow said...

Great post!

Kate said...

Thanks for sharing your breastfeeding journey with us! Our breastfeeding seemed to get easier anywhere after the first 6-8 weeks. Everything is easy when you know how to do it, right? Personally for me, it was quite an exhausting task. My little one slept right next to my side of the bed in her bassinet ( So I slept quite well, that helped me to maintain proper milk supply.