Did ya’ll know it is World Breastfeeding Week?! In honor of that, I’m going to do my LAST Maxwell breastfeeding post.
It has been a journey of a million feeds and a thousand pumps 😉 We MADE it! 14 months of breastfeeding officially came to an end on Monday morning, July 31st. I didn’t even know it was going to be our last time. I honestly thought there was going to be a dramatic wean, but for us…there wasn’t.
On Monday, I was talking weaning with a work friend that is going through the process with her little one. I said, “You know what? I should just try to cut the nighttime feeding out and go down to 1 morning feeding.”
Brief back story: I was ELATED to make it to a year! I knew at that point I wanted to start weaning Max, especially because I was pregnant with our second little love. Our first weaning step was cutting out my work pumps. This also meant cutting Max’s daytime feeding, so we were on the same track. We phased them out over about a month. Of course somedays I sucked at it, days when Max was especially persistent or I could tell he wasn’t feeling well. We’ve been down to a morning and night feeding for about a month. I knew I wanted to take the step of cutting one of those out. Little did I know, that when I stopped him from feeding once before bed…we would stop completely.
I know it’s because we were both more ready than I gave us credit for.
I’m really excited that it went much smoother than I thought it would. Max still sometimes pulls at my shirt, but we just distract him or put him down without it.
Along with excitement, I did shed a good amount of tears. Just being honest 😉 It started when I began working on this blog post, because it caused SO MUCH reflection on how far we’ve come together. The BIGGEST thing that makes me sad is that my first little boy is growing up entirely too fast. Drew found me in a puddle of tears when he got home from his softball game Tuesday night after another skipped feeding. He was SO sweet and we just talked about how our little baby is now a little boy.
Now that I have 14 months of breastfeeding experience, and another baby coming in hot in 15 weeks…I thought it would be fun to highlight some things I didn’t know about breastfeeding.
6 Things I Didn’t Know About Breastfeeding.
- There will probably be some type of struggle. I had terrible nipple pain with a crater down the middle of the right one. When the lactation consultant saw my nipple, even she was taken aback. Long story short, Max had tongue tie and with my anatomy…we took about 8 weeks to get on a pain free breastfeeding track. I also had a hugely lopsided supply and oversupply. I think each mama and baby will go through a unique journey, and next time around I have a much better understanding of that. Maybe our struggle will be entirely different, but I think mamas should prepare to know that there might be some challenge ahead of you and that you CAN do this!
- You WILL need support. I had a group of women around me (mostly thanks to this blog!) that encouraged me. They were quick with suggestions when I was struggling. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for ALL of you that reached out during that time. I also LOVE following a few breastfeeding accounts that offer tips and tricks. I wanted to share pumpspotting with ya’ll today. They are on a mission over there to help make breastfeeding better for all of us! Here is their mission statement: to support breastfeeding mothers in all their forms, and to elevate experiences so that we change places, perceptions, and ultimately, the percentage of women worldwide who meet their breastfeeding goals. I just donated to their kickstarter campaign and would highly recommend you see what they’re up to, cause it is GOOD! We need people out there advocating for breastfeeding women and making it a better experience!
- Pumping ain’t easy. Lord knows I have learned a ton about pumping. Essentially when I started I was trying to be some type of super mama and boiling all my pumping supplies for sanitization. By the end I was refrigerating my pumping parts so I only needed 1 set during the day and throwing everything in the dishwasher. You’ll learn what makes pumping sustainable for you! I would say the biggest challenge is getting pumping in at work without feeling like less of a professional. I wrote two previous blogs that you can refer back to to learn more about both these subjects. Pump, Pump, Pump: What you need + need to know about pumping! and Pumping At Work: Advocating for Yourself and Knowing Your Rights: Lots of good information for mamas that will be pumping at work! Before I leave this point I want to say: do your BEST to just enjoy your time pumping. I always would text Drew, look at pictures of Max, scroll Instagram, read…and the 10 minutes was up before I knew it. A positive attitude will help you make it mama!
- Your boobs might get real weird. I think this cartoon is SO hilarious because for me it was way too true. I love telling my not-yet-mama friends about how lopsided my boobs were for a stretch. The look on their faces is priceless. For a while I would wake up and one looked straight up Pamela Anderson in the early 90s. The other was 4x smaller. I’ll never forget the first morning it happened (meaning Max slept through for his longest period) Drew asked if I needed to go to the doctor because it was SO extreme. I told him it was just milk, proceeded to feed Max with, and then pump about 10 ounces out of it. It gets weird ya’ll, I have plenty more stories where that came from 😉
- It gets EASIER! When I was visiting my sister and her 5 week old this week, I got a big reminder of newborn breastfeeding. Krystle’s sweet baby Avery was eating constantly. And I remember Max was just like that once. Then the feedings became much more spread out and his ability to eat quickened. At the end of our breastfeeding journey, things were easy peezy. Just be encouraged that your babe will eventually space their feedings out and not be on your boobs for 45 minutes at a time.
- You might change the way you do things or the way you thought you would do things. I don’t think people can understand breastfeeding until they do it themselves. It was WAY more than I had ever bargained for. I also had a lot of thoughts about what type of breastfeeder I would be. Namely, I thought I would always have a cover on and go to a private place. Now I would describe myself as the leader of the #FREETHEBOOB movement. 😉 If it weren’t for Drew still being conservative, I would whip my boob out whenever. It’s a hassle to cover, they don’t always stay in place, our baby definitely got to a point where he would just yank it in all directions, etc. I really do believe people should look away if they are offended by a nursing baby and stop making such a big deal of it.
You got this mamas! You can do it! I believe in you.
Hope ya’ll have a great weekend!