August 11, 2010

Breastfeeding & Pumping 101

Here is Mr. Toot Toot who finally settled down after a 30 minute melt down last night. I can't stand to hear him cry bloody murder like that and it drives me NUTS! He very rarely does that, but for some reason last night he let it all out. Terence will just shut the door or hold him while he's crying no problem, but I cannot do that! It breaks my heart and he turns all red and the tears start flowing like a river....I'm weak I tell ya! W.E.A.K!!!!

BREASTFEEDING
(I am by no means an expert & I am only speaking from my personal experience)

A lot of you have asked me questions about breastfeeding on the blog and through Twitter. I thought it would be easier to write a post about it and tell you what I have learned so far.
1. It's hard...VERY HARD. The first couple of weeks after coming home from the hospital I had breakdowns and crying spells specifically due to breastfeeding. While pregnant you have the best intentions to breastfeed your baby and desire to have that bonding experience with them.
After all that is what God designed your body to be able to do right? Nobody really tells you what it feels like when your baby has trouble latching on, or trying to feed every two hours to build up your milk, how long it takes for your milk to fully come in, how much it hurts & and the bloody and chapped nipples you get. Lovely....I know.....
2. I had trouble getting Connor to latch on. I decided after the second week I would invest in a good pump and strictly pump. I knew I would be returning to work in a month anyway so I started to pump and store my milk. While I was pumping Terence would get up and feed Connor with me. He was my main source of support and encouraged me the whole way...this was key and helped me more than you can imagine. Having a good support system is the only way I got through the first month.
3. Some of the best advice I got as far as helping me build up my supply was to DRINK WATER!!! Not just 8 oz every few hours, but chug it all day long. Water is key to building your milk supply and if your body is dehydrated then how can you produce milk? The more water you absorb, the more milk you will produce. If you are breastfeeding and want to pump to build your supply sit there and pump, even if nothing comes out continue to pump because your body will think your baby is still hungry & adjust to produce more.
I would sit and dry pump for an extra 15-20 mins. When I first started pumping it was only 2 oz-4 oz every sitting, now I produce anywhere from 9 oz-18 oz a sitting which is anywhere from 45-55 oz a day. At first you MUST pump every 2-3 hours, even through the night...and yes...it sucks!
You make yourself do it and have to push yourself through. Once you get through the first couple of months you are good to go! I only pump 4 times a day now and produce more at each sitting because your body levels out and will be on your set schedule.
4. I prefer not to use the lanolin cream. The best advice someone gave me was to use plain Vaseline to lubricate your nipples and it helped SO much afterwards! Also, if you are having a lot of dryness and your nipples are sore try using a bigger shield. I use a size large & just making that change helped a lot.
TO SUM IT UP: Breastfeeding is not what I thought it would be. This is my own experience, it's been a rough road. I'm glad I am able to do it and it's the best thing for Connor. I think everyone finds there own groove. If you weren't or aren't able to breastfeed I don't think it is something you should beat yourself up over. It's not something everyone can do or some people don't feel it's for them. You should never EVER judge someone if they can't...because everyone's life is different than yours. I hope this helps some of you a little bit & if you have anymore questions shoot me an email @ beckylbranch@gmail.com
Breast milk can last in the freezer for 3 months
In the refrigerator it lasts for 2 weeks

You will have LOTS of dishes and your sink may look like this :P

Here is Connor after his bath last night...he looooves bath time!

And play time
Booga Booga Boo!!!
See ya'll tomorrow!

XoXo - Becky

10 comments:

Michelle said...

Are those Dr. Brown bottles in the sink?! We used them with Aidan.

I love this post - it brings back a lot of memories. One of the hardest parts of breastfeeding is the hormonal wreck you become when you feel like you've failed not only yourself but your child. You're right...having a good support system makes all the difference.

Good job, mom!!

Kristin @ Blue Skies said...

This was a great post!! I'm seven weeks away from having my first baby and I plan on breastfeeding too. Thanks for the tips!

Krista said...

Wow! Your milk supply is impressive! I am fortunate enough to stay home this year, so I don't pump very often, but I'll pass on your advice to any and all of my breastfeeding friends who work. You are a definite inspiration for nursing moms!

Mrs. Classic said...

Love the post! Also haven't been to your blog in awhile because of reader. Love the background!

Karla said...

hey, just thought i'd give my 2 cents. when you start ovulating again the supply might decrease around that time of the month, but don't get upset over it. I didn't know what was going on with my supply when it happened but it's normal and some fenugreek helped me get through ovulating... and you're right lots and lots of water!

Kendra said...

I TOTALLY feel you here girl!! Breastfeeding is the HARDEST thing I have EVER stuck with!!!!! EVER!!! Man I had NO IDEA how hard it would be before my babies were born.

My friend used to belong to a "breastfeeding support group" and I would think to myself...really? A support group??? But now I TOTALLY get it!

I am way amazed by your supply! I nurse the babies all but one feeding while I am at work (I work 4 hours a day) and I pump once at work.. I am a TERRIBLE pumper. I can not seem to make myself let down well. I only get about 4 ounces after 15 min of pumping every time.And if work is particularly stressful, I sometimes don't even get that! It sucks =(. I have talked to my lactation consultant about it and she says its a "mind game" and I have to try and focus on the babies, so I bring pictures and look at them...anyways, I am WAY impressed by your supply and your dedication!!!!!!

Linds said...

breast milk will store even longer in a deep freeze. I breast fed exclusively, but pumped also to build up supply. I had over a month and a half's worth of breast milk reserved when I weaned at 9 months. My DH called me his cow b/c I would pump so much! It's worth it though!

Abbie said...

So glad to hear honest advice about breastfeeding!

Abbie said...

So glad to hear honest advice about breastfeeding!

Karla said...

hey, just thought i'd give my 2 cents. when you start ovulating again the supply might decrease around that time of the month, but don't get upset over it. I didn't know what was going on with my supply when it happened but it's normal and some fenugreek helped me get through ovulating... and you're right lots and lots of water!

NOW TAKING ADVERTISERS & SPONSORS! GET MORE INFORMATION HERE
UA-37405507-1