Sunday, August 16, 2009

Breastfeeding Flashbacks

Well, the "girls" have already grown from a B cup to a D cup, and I am only halfway through this second pregnancy. Clearly the "jugs" remember their earlier stint as the milk truck. I believe they are gearing up to do another stellar job - making on time deliveries, keeping up with supply-and-demand, maintaining flavor and delicious product, ... just as all good milk trucks should!
All this thinking about my future, second round of breastfeeding also got me thinking back to my first time as a nursing mommy.
  1. The engorgement part of having my milk "come in" (about three days after Natalie was born) was more painful than labor and delivery. I know, I know. That sounds crazy, but for me that's the honest truth. My breasts were so sore, so tender, so inflamed, so rock-hard, I was begging for contractions in place of that pain. I read everything. Called every friend. Tried every suggestion. Even sent Chad to Target as soon as they opened to buy a hand pump. As a last resort, the doctor prescribed Vicodine - I was hesitant to take it, but it helped almost immediately, allowed me to relax, and put us back on track with nursing.
  2. The lactation specialist at the hospital suggested that Natalie use a nipple guard. I never really understood why, and once I stopped using it, she actually ate better and more efficiently. I would be very hesitant to "interfere" with the nature process and use a nipple guard again. A nipple guard looks like a tiny clear sombrero - at least it did my sleep deprived mind - so I would sing to Natalie, "It's time for a fiesta, no time for a siesta," if she tried to snooze while feeding. I remember thinking that was so funny and clever :)
  3. It wasn't until about 6 weeks that I read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and had a major breastfeeding break-through. Up until that point, I had been nursing for about 10 minutes on each side and calling it a feeding. What I came to realize is that Natalie wasn't getting my hind milk, the good fatty stuff. I then switched to feeding on one side until she was done and then offering the other as a top-off. Her feedings spread out, and she started packing on the ounces more quickly. I love that book for so many reasons, but mainly that one!
  4. I absolutely adored my Hooter Hider. I don't know what I would've done without it. I used it all the time - for the first 5 or 6 months. After that, Natalie found it hilarious to play peek-a-boo from underneath it, a game which often left me exposed and was so distracting she rarely got a good feeding that way. (If you are considering the purchase of a Hooter Hider, just be aware that its longevity may disappoint. This would be a great item to borrow if you can.)
  5. I also spent a lot of time sitting in the backseat of the car to nurse when we were out-and-about. It just seemed more calm and less public. Within about a week of doing this, I discovered the delightfulness of a few magazines tucked in the pockets of the seats. I got a lot of reading done this way :)
  6. Speaking of multi-tasking - what being a new mom and nursing is all about - I also have fond memories of eating cups of yogurt and HoneyMaid bite-size graham crackers. That was my favorite middle of the night snack. Of course, Natalie ended up with yogurt splatters and crumbs on her head more than once!
  7. I really disliked the Boppy pillow for feeding. It just didn't fit right. Mine was kind of heavy and awkward. Instead, used a throw pillow from the guestroom. It fit nicely in my lap and elevated Natalie just the right amount. I am considering the BreastFriend for this second-time around.
  8. At a friend's suggestion, I did take a few photos of myself breastfeeding Natalie. In fact, I just went back and looked at them. It's not something I want posted on the Internet, but I am glad to have them.
  9. I manual pumped - only occasionally - until Natalie was 6 months old, at which time a good friend loaned me her electric pump. That noisy machine changed my life. I was finally able to pump enough milk to leave her for a few hours at a time. It was so liberating. With the manual, I would have to pump two or three times to have enough to leave for one bottle. With the electric, as long as I pumped in the morning, I could get enough for a bottle in one pumping session. I finally had milk in the freezer and it felt good!
  10. Natalie was pretty much finished with nursing by the time she was 10 months old. It was a gradual process, and it felt very natural for both of us. Although I continued to hold on to the night-time feeding for another six weeks because I couldn't stand the thought of losing that special experience!

Okay, that's 10, and that seems like a good place to stop. I can only hope that breastfeeding will go as smoothly with BGV 2.0. And if I could skip that whole engorgement thing, that'd be even better!

Please share your own breastfeeding flashback, tip, lesson learned, ...

12 comments:

Laura and Kelly Allen said...

That engorgement sounds terrible. My milk didn't come in until day 5 (They say that happens with c-sections), but when it did, I was squirting her in the face with it!
I pump after every feeding now -- I use the Medela Swing, which is great. (It's only around $150 at Target). Talk about a freezer full. I'll need it when I have to go back to work.

natalee said...

I had to laugh about the hooter hider.. i saw that show 18 kids and counting..the mother has one called mothers helper...i hope nursing goes well for you i know it will

Oliver'sMom said...

Loved this post! And, I loved, loved, LOVED the Breastfriend pillow. I agree about the Boppy, Ollie just rolled away from me or got wedged between me and the pillow. The BF pillow has a flat top, and clipped on so I could feed him just about anywhere comfortably. I wasn't a mamma who could just hold him in an arm to feed him, the girls were so big I needed one hand to guide his head and one to keep him from being smothered! LOL.

Ali said...

My milk came in about 36 hours after my c-section..... My son took 5 days to actually latch on so the first few days my Medela was my BFF!
My best nursing story, I was nursing my son at my sisters when her 3 year old came up to her, took fold of her ladies and said I want these, give me some milk! I almost lost it!

Laura and Kelly Allen said...

Oh, I thought of a great memory (does it count as a memory if I'm still going through it?)...
My favorite thing is when Hannah rests her head on my breast after she's done eating. It reminds me of that Brim Full of Asha song that says, "Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow." Oh, I love when she rests her little hand on my breast while she's eating. And when she's totally full and falls off the breast and lays there like she's drunk on breast milk.

Chi-town momma said...

It is amazing to me how nursing can be so different for each child. B took forever (40-60 min) now T is a speed eater (15 min max!) Also, my milk came in while I was still in the hospital! On my first day home, I was able to pump over 4 oz! CRAZY!!!
I love it again the second time around. I love to look into their little eyes, when they grab my finger, hold onto my bra or rub my chest. The whole experience is so amazing to me. My body continues to keep this little person alive even when she is outside my body.

Heather said...

The breastfeeding memory that stands out to me was when Ben was about 5 months old and we were driving a long distance in the car and it was time for him to eat. I was not afraid to get in the back seat (my husband was of course driving) whip out the boob and breastfeed B while he was still in his car seat. Being 6'1 and bending over my son and nursing in the car was quite a feat! I am sure I made a truckers day! :)

BJ_Mama said...

Hope you don't mind, after reading all 10 of your thoughts....I wanted to comment on each one.
1. I never had "engorgement" Thankfully, I was able to brorow my sister's electirc pump from Day One. THEY ARE AWESOME...and double duty, you feel like a cow, but oh all the milk you can stockpile...
2.Love your song! I found my lactation consultants more of a hinderance than a help. They would call and grill me every other day (there was more than one, so I would have to repeat myself often) They never would believe I was producing enough becasue my daughter was so small.
3.Glad you were able to find something that worked for you! I never read that book, but that's what we would do too!
4. Thanks for the reference, Never heard of a Hooter Hider. I think with our next one...whenever that may be (hopefully soon) I want to make one.
5.We had LOTS of time in the car, in back rooms, my favorite hideaway in public was dressing rooms...they have a nice little bench in there (and it's quiet)
6. I always nursed while eating...ate ate while nursing. And Sam always ended up wearing my food...maybe that's why she's a messy eater now
7. I ended up just using a pillow too, but the boppy was good for other things
8.Never got a photo...was scared where it might end up.
9.Electric Pump=10 oz at a crack the first week=AWESOME
10.We were blessed to nurse into the 13 month. Sad ending, but very natural transition for both of us as well.
Thanks for sharing!

mrs.alderman said...

I have two brestfriends sitting in my closet if you'd like to borrow them. Yes, two. One for each floor of the house :) Loved them!!

Jessica said...

Oh wow, it's amazing how long ago it seems and yet not. I guess that's motherhood in a nutshell anyway. I, too ate while nursing and loved the Brestfriend until he was big enough to be comfortable on the Boppy. Then the Boppy was faster to get on and off.

As for the nipple shield, I absolutely couldn't have nursed without it for the first few months because SP had trouble latching because of a really strong tongue thrust that no amount of lactation consulting could help. Once he got bigger and got the hang of it, he quit using it on his own. It kept me from giving up in defeat that he wasn't getting enough, though it did make him take a lot longer to eat! Wow, I got a LOT of reading done during those marathon nursing sessions. If you can do without it, awesome, but it's nice to have options.

I vote for using a pump sooner than six months this time around. The freedom was phenomenal, even if I didn't go anywhere. Giving him a bottle before bed got him used to it and gave me a break every day (beginning around 2 months).

Thanks for sharing and giving me my own flashbacks. I've been a bit nostalgic ever since Sebastian hit the first birthday. :-)

Deann said...

funny I just saw this post and LOL I just got fitted earlier this week and was a 36 C/D! That is quite a difference from my normal and paltry 34B.

I am amazed once again at what growing a human being can do to a female body. Things move, shift, grow and stretch ... whew.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

I'm close to the end of nursing #3 now...down to three times a day, mostly for cuddle time, I think. I hate engorgement. The worst thing ever. Unless it's ductal yeast infection and plugs. My tip is from Dr. Sears: soy lecithin. I take it every day in the early months, and it has done wonders for me and plugged ducts. Wonders, I say.

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