March 16, 2014

Nursing Tips



Breastfeeding Tips 

I wanted to talk about my experience nursing and how I have fallen in love with nursing my son.  
Before I was pregnant & before I was married I always knew in my heart I wanted to do everything I could to breastfeed my children. So once I was pregnant with our son I knew in my mind no matter what I was not going to use formula ( not passing any judgement what so ever) its just a personal decision I made. So having my mind made up this is what I decided to do.. I made sure to have no formula in the house and let my husband know I would need extra support and encouragement while we (my son and I) were both learning how to breastfeed.I always thought breastfeeding would come natural to me but so many girls I knew struggled so much I thought I should probably educate myself so I read a book on breastfeeding my midwife recommended called the womanly art of breastfeeding. This book was great and it somewhat prepared me for breastfeeding. My birth plan included my son getting placed immediately on my chest and I was having him all natural. This took place the night my son was born exactly(for the most part) how I had planned for it to be. I did this because its a crucial factor when breastfeeding. Time away from your baby in the beginning can make breastfeeding more difficult.    I would tell any new mom to not be too hard on yourself you and your little one are both learning and its not always easy. My son fortunately for  me had no problems nursing or latching & everything went well from day one. I did have cracked and sore nipples which is normal and during the first two weeks it didnt feel good at all when he would nurse. The part of nursing that was difficult/challenging for me was the commitment(I applaud any mama who can go back to work and nurse after only 6 weeks at home) your my hero!! I can stay commited to something if I put my mind to it.. But this is just a different type of commitment my son needed me all the time & for the first time my life wasnt my own anymore. My husband couldnt bottle feed him because he wouldnt take a bottle, date nights well.. What does that mean again? ... No one can put our son to sleep but me (I nurse him to sleep) .. When he needs to be soothed &comforted I am the one he wants.. I cant pass him off to anyone else.. & I am completely 100% ok with that! Right now he just needs me and I love that he does!  It just took time for me to adjust to my new life with my family..God must have known I needed to become way more selfless and I think he wanted to teach me humility. My son is now six months old and hes still nursing and im planning to breastfeed him and all our babies for at least a year or until he weans himself. I have learned to not worry about what anyone thinks or says when it comes to breastfeeding and especially parenting! Honestly women can be the most brutal.. I have figured out most women say nasty things about breastfeeding because they are jealous they couldnt nurse thier own babies or just feel guilty because they know they could have breastfeed but chose not too. They could be insecure and worried their husband will try to catch a peek which is just the most humerous to me because if they are worried about that they have way more things to be worried about that hes probably doing..
 I will be honest I had the luxery of working from home and I have to say motherhood is not easy and if you and your husband are both working full time and your able to breastfeed and then pump at work I think you are the most selfless amazing mother because I know how incridibly difficult that is. Im going to share some of my challenges and information I found out through research that hopefully can help some of you breastfeeding mamas out there! 



Tip#1 
Bond with you baby!! Tell the guests NO and put that mother in law to work! This is your time with your little one and you need to be the one holding him or her! Skin to skin!! As much as possible in the beginning!
The first 3 weeks after we brought him home I just basically held our son all the time skin on skin and nursed on demand (this calibrates your milk supply)  it is exhausting and hard to do when you have visitors that are wanting to see the baby.. But this is crucial especially because your getting to know your baby and bond with them! Don't miss out on this! Its ok to say "No" we didn't want visitors at the hospital for this reason As well so we had immediate family because I knew I wanted to take the time to bond with our son.

Tip#2
Lots and lots of water! You need to be hydrated!


Tip#3
Dont worry if your baby is getting enough milk their stomachs are SO small and as long as there are wet / poopie diapers thATS all you need to be worried about! Dont stress yourself out & let mother nature take over (she does know what shes doing;)) 
Nursing in the beginning is NOT easy for anyone so dont let anyone tell you it is.. Yes you will have cracked sore nipples they will hurt and may be bruised/ bleeding but this will all be a blurr if you can just get through the first month I guarantee you will be a pro at nursing after this!

Tip#4 
Buy the APP  "Baby Nursing Baby" if your one of those people who has to feel like your baby is "getting enough".
I bought this App & it was the best thing I did in the beginning since I was exhausted from lack of sleep .. Its a app thAt logs everything and more that you need to remember... Your babys measurements,  nursing, pumping, sleeping, diapers, baths, medicines, dr visits, & vaccines. Its a life savor to be honest! Especially if your like me and cant function without sleep!  

Tip#5 
Co sleep
Only if your comfortable .. Its not for everyone but I believe in attachment parenting. We used a snuggle nest and our son slept between us until he out grew it! Breastfeeding is a lot of work your baby is hungrier way more often than if you were to formula feed.. Your baby will most likely take longer to sleep straight through the night too. Your basically up every two hours and can nurse each boob for 15-25 mins.. So as you can imagine getting up that much in the middle of the night is so exhausting but if your little one is right next to you it make nursing so much easier!  Sleep when your baby sleeps! Sleeping is so important and your body needs rest in order to make milk. 

Tip#6 
Finish One Breast Before You Switch Breasts 
Now these are just things that worked for me... BUT when I was in the hospital the Lactation specialist told me to nurse each breast for 10-15 mins than switch.. Well this wasn't emptying my breasts and our son wasn't getting  my hind-milk just my fore-milk(educate yourself on these two different words) our son was partially colicky and if I had been doing this from the beginning would have helped a lot!!! The hind-milk is the fattier milk that helps keep the baby full longer and helps with their digestion.. (You can tell which milk they are getting more of by looking at the color of baby poos) 

Tip #7
Know what different color poops mean...
Yes your going to have to research the different color poops and what they mean.. This says a lot about your baby and its just good to be prepared. Its not that bad trust me! Perk of nursing- baby poop doesn't really even smell bad! Call me crazy i actually never thought his poop stunk! It was actually sweet smelling! Funny right?! 

Tip#8
Keep Taking Your Prenatal's, Probiotics, and Start Eating A Spoonful of Coconut Oil 
 Your baby will be getting everything he/ her needs from your breast milk.. But your body will be working overtime to make it and if your not eating enough or getting enough nutrients you body will start taking it right out of you.. The coconut oil is a huge help with keeping your breast milk rich and fatty. I love how it makes my hair and skin look too! I also used it to prevent stretch marks! 

Tip#9
Buy Gripe Water, Gas Drops, Colic Calm  
You might need this & its so much better to be safe than sorry. Our son was extremely gassy & this helps with the gas. 

Tip#10
If your having problems nursing get help right away!
Don't wait if you need help call a lactation specialist! The faster you get help the better! Also we started taking my son to the chiropractor wish I would have has him adjusted the day he was born(I will do a entire post on the chiropractor 
& babies) but this can help with latching issues!

Tip#11
 You baby will lose weight don't get  stressed out about it! 
Your baby loses weight before he starts to gain it.    I look back on photos of our son when he was first born and think about how skinny he looked! Its crazy! I had read all about how babies loose weight the first month they are born so I was never stressing on the fact he lost weightand wasn't   getting chubby right away! 

Tip #12
Eat!! 
Your literally a milk making machine! I felt like a cow especially when I was pumping! Your baby weight will fall off from nursing and now you need to make sure your eating enough for your little one! I would have oatmeal every morning and was always making sure I was drinking enough water. Also lactation cookies would be great to have in the beginning just incase you have milk supply issues! They taste so yummy too my husband even loves them;) Also fenugreek and mothers milk tea are great supplements to have on hand! I will post a recipe for the cookies that I love too!   

Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookie Recipe 
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
2 -4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°c
  2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
  4. Add eggs and mix well.
  5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
  6. Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
  7. Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
  8. Stir in oats and chips.
  9. Scoop onto baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes.
  11. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.

Tip #13
Don't Give Up 
Trust me were all human and breastfeeding is the most selfless thing you can do and some days at times I felt like throwing in the towel...Seeing other mamas babies sleep through the night at 4weeks and using a bottle seemed so much easier.. But I promise you eventually it will get easier and you will be so happy you stuck with it! No bottles to clean.. No formula to buy… its always on you (never have to pack your babies food).. the bonding is indescribable;) 


3 comments:

  1. Love this post on breastfeeding and baby wearing! I'm a few weeks away from my first baby being here and this is exactly the encouragement I needed. I feel that women who choose to breast feed and baby wear are almost ridiculed these days...so frustrating because you truly are sacrificing it all for your baby and people can be so negative! I can't wait to use our different wraps and carriers, and I am determined to make breastfeeding work as well. Love the blog, thanks for the words of encouragement! I wish more women would focus on building each other up :)

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  3. I found your blog and loved reading your bf tips. I had a very similar experience and as I was reading your tips I kept thinking - yes, this, exactly! Honestly for me I also didn't have a lot of major hurdles (mastitis, clogged ducts, etc) but the commitment was tough. I had to go back to work so my son did have bottles of breastmilk but when I am around it's all about me - which is great, and hard. My son is now 2.5 yrs old though (we stopped breastfeeding at around 14 mos) and I don't regret any of it since I know my hard work & dedication gave him the very best start in life. You deserve a huge pat on the back and thank you for sharing your positive attitude about breastfeeding - for most women, it can be done. *high fives!*

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