Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
I haven’t done a mama based blog post in a while…so I’m due for one 😉
I’ve found it SO interesting to reflect back to when I was pregnant with Maxwell. I had all of these ideas of how I wanted things to go. I had a goal for how long I wanted to be able to breastfeed. Then your little love makes their way into your life, you learn that they aren’t always so cooperative with your plans. Drew and I knew we had a lot to learn about parenting, and Maxwell confirmed that. We’re thankful that he was the little guy that made us parents and let us learn from him, although I guess he really didn’t have a choice 😉
When I blogged about breastfeeding before, I received many messages from mamas thanking me for those posts. You can find the pumping post here, and a milk supply post here . I thought I would do an update now that we’ve been at it for 10.5 months. The 12 month goal is approaching fast!
My sweet husband was the inspiration for the title of this blog. One night he said to me, “You want to watch TV and cuddle, me you and THE BOOB!” I said, “HEY!” Drew was referring to my mega right boob that is now the only working one. He said, “We joke about it all the time babe!” I laughed and confirmed that he was right. I couldn’t get offended because I always joke about it myself.
Breastfeeding: 10.5 Months Later
Oversupply No More: For many, many months (almost 9) I had oversupply. I pumped over 2,000 ounces of breastmilk and donated our extra to some really sweet babies. Now, it is definitely down to earth. I’m able to keep up with Maxwell and I saved some of the expressed milk for him…but, overabundance is no longer an issue.
1 Pump Wonder: When I started my new job, I found it really hard to get 2 pumps in. The work flow in the clinic is different, and is much more team oriented than my former floor nursing job. Meaning in my old job, I knew the best times to slip away and what I was responsible for getting done. What was MY work to do. With this job, there is more of a team approach. So leaving the clinic to pump can be tougher because I don’t want to leave my team shorthanded. On top of that, I wasn’t getting as much with my second pump of the day. It was typically about 3.5-4oz. I made the decision to just cut down to 1 pump at work. It has been working really well and I’m able to pump about 6-8 oz for our little man. That is the ONLY pump I do of the whole day and don’t pump at all on the days that I’m home with him. It has been a pumping journey! I look back at how much I used to pump and I think: “I’m SO proud of you for doing that!”
Little Man that LOVES Nursing: I’ve talked to friends that say their baby really stopped caring about whether the milk was coming from their boob or a bottle. Maxwell would not agree. He loves nursing from me. When we’ve been apart for the day and he sees me, he automatically wants to have a reunion feeding and whines until he gets it. No matter when he ate last.
Easy Peezy: I’ve been SO open about how Maxwell and I struggled in the beginning of our breastfeeding journey. At times pumping also definitely felt like WORK. Now that we’re old pros (haha) it is SO much easier. Max is a super efficient eater and as I mentioned I’m just pumping once a day on work days (so much less than before).
Snuggle Time: Max is ON.THE.GO. On the days that I get to be home with him, I essentially follow him around the whole day making sure he is safe and playing with him. If you leave the room, he’ll be clear across it and trying to climb up the stairs by the time you get back. So breastfeeding and before bed has really become the only times he is willing and ready to be snuggled and sit still. It has truly been special to stare at this beautiful baby, rub his head, and have him snuggled up against me as he sweetly nurses.
No Weaning Plan. I don’t want to go forever, but as 12 months gets closer…I really haven’t researched or made a plan for weaning. I was talking to my friend Lisa about it, and we were agreeing how it is such a personal choice for the mama and baby. There are SO many factors that come into play. Since Maxwell and I are both happy and it has become less work (not as many pumps), we’ll see how long we make it too. It would be awesome if I could let Max lead the way and he would just eventually start weaning himself (so I’m going to cross my fingers)!
What We’ve Made it Through:
If you follow me on Instagram or are a regular blog reader, you’ve heard a lot of these…but, I wanted to share again. My goal is to encourage any mama that might be struggling with some element of breastfeeding right now. We made it through a lot and it definitely paid off.
- Extreme Nipple Pain: Holy smokes! We had a rough, rough beginning. I told my husband Drew I’d rather push Maxwell out again if I could just have had normal nipples again. The really bad pain lasted for 6 weeks and I was starting to heal very well around 8 weeks. As I shared it on the blog, SO many mamas reached out with advice and encouragement when I shared that we were off to a painful start. I felt SO encouraged and cheered for, so thank you if you sent me a note! And if you are going through this right now, I’m sharing a few key items below!
- Tongue Tie: Maxwell had tongue tie, which coupled with my anatomy had us off to a really terrible start. But, praise the Lord because the lactation consultant noticed he had tongue tie and the pediatrician was able to assess and then get him in to get his little tongue clipped the next day. It made me feel SO much better knowing that there was a reason and the reason was fixed. Even though it didn’t fix the pain immediately, it eased my mind to know that we were on the right road.
- Oversupply: I’ll always be thankful for this! Really not a huge issue, but I did have to pump quite a bit, have uncomfortably full boobs, and Max had to gulp, gulp, gulp.
- Lopsided Supply: From almost the beginning, my right boob produced a lot more than my left. The left held on for so long, producing about 1/4 of what the right was producing. And then less, less, less….and she just gave up on life a couple weeks ago. So we’re solely feeding from the right now! Thank you super boob!
- Bottle Rejection: I think a lot of kiddos go through this. When we were getting ready for me to go back to work and Max to go to daycare, the little stinker started rejecting bottles. What I learned from this experience is the only thing that really worked was persistence. Also– daycare or nannies have dealt with it before, so don’t be worried that it is their first rodeo and they won’t be able to get through it. Lastly, as my friend Molly told me…”Amy, I know it is so hard and stressful. BUT, Maxwell will not let himself starve. Just know that you are feeding him before he goes and you can feed him as soon as you pick him up.”
- Boob Rejection: For us, this was very very short. And related to the nipple biting point below. When Max started to get teeth, he would bite my nipple. I would yelp in pain and shock and that would really really scare Max. He started to associate my negative reaction with feeding from me, so there was a day or two that he would only take milk from the bottle. I tried my very best not to be reactionary after I learned this, but it is so darn hard!
- Nipple Biting: Ouch! Seriously, ouch! It was happening quite a bit when Max was getting his first teeth. Now it is few and far between (thank the Lord!).
Nursing Pillows: We DO NOT need them quite as much anymore, but still do use them. We love the Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner and My Brest Friend Original Nursing Pillow. It helped us get into the perfect nursing position when he was really little. We had one for up in his nursery and one for downstairs, which also helped if one got soaked with spit up. I’d also recommend getting cute covers like this Boppy Pillow Slipcover.
Super Daily D3 for Baby 400IU Supplement: We had the Honest Baby DHA first, but he needs an entire syringe of it. It was hard because he would often spit it right back out, judging by the smell I don’t think it tastes great. I switched to concentrated drops and I only need to put 1 little drop on my nipple. This helps support the brain and eye development and Vitamin D doesn’t get transferred through breastmilk like other vitamins do.
Medela Freestyle Breast Pump: I love this one and some of my friends have got it and loved it too! It is nice to not have to be plugged in, you just can’t bend over because the milk will spill out.
Medela Freestyle Spare Parts Kit: I have a few sets, it makes the work weeks WAY easier to not have to clean parts every single day.
Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bra: Super convenient and easy. I would highly recommend this one, because you can easily adjust the size!
BaoBei Maternity Nursing Sports Bra: I added this because a lot of people ask what bra I like to run in. I LOVE this one so much because it is super supportive.
Washable Nursing Pads 10 Pack: I was using disposable ones for a long time, but I switched to the washable ones. Easy to wash and I feel better that I’m not making so much waste. I’ve only ever had slight leakage while using these, so I cannot vouch for how they work in the beginning (when I was soaking the whole disposable pad).
Milk Snob Cover: Obsessed! Love the covers and they are very versatile.
IntiMom Breastfeeding Nursing Cover: I thought this cover was easier to use when Max was very little because it tented out and was easy to keep in the right place.
For Sore Nipples YOU NEED:
Medela SoftShells for Sore Nipples: Way back when these were a lifesaver. It helped me to heal and kept me more comfortable.
Medela Tender Care Lanolin Tube: This was my favorite lanolin cream and believe me, I tried them ALL!
Sarah Wells “Abby” Breast Pump Bag: I would love a pumping bag! When I was searching around, I kind of fell in love with this one! But alas, the price.
You’ve got this mamas! No matter where you are in your journey, you have a cheerleader in me.