Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Boob News

So lets talk about breastfeeding.

If  I have one piece of advice (ok, lets be realistic. I have WAY more than one piece of advice! So I'll say, if you listen to one piece of my advice) it would  be to take a breastfeeding class. And make that man of yours go with you. I know it seems silly, but we wouldn't have been nearly as successful at this whole thing without it. Taking the class gave me so much confidence! I knew what to expect, when to expect it and what to do about it. And having Scott there (granted he paid more attention to the games on his phone than to the nipple puppet) meant that there was more than one sleep deprived person in my house who knew the ropes. So do it. You won't regret it. (and yes, there really was a nipple puppet)

The first few days were totally fine. Nothing hurt, I got to cuddle with my baby and bask in the glow of breastfeeding.

Then your milk comes in. Wowzers. I thought my boobs were big from pregnancy. Ha. NOTHING compared to BFing boobs. Hello size F nursing bra. And hello pain. Engorgement hurts. It's totally tolerable, but pain is pain nonetheless. I imagine that its similar to the way you might feel after getting implants. Rock hard, hot and painful. It really only lasted a week or two, until my supply started to regulate. But now your milk is in and that baby of yours is hungry.

And that hurts. I remember being awake at all hours of the night clenching my fists, toes, well anything that could be clenched agaist the pain. It wasn't his fault. He was hungry. He needed to eat. And so I fed him. But knowing all that didn't stop me from wishing it didn't take this tiny person 45 minutes to get full. Or that he didn't eat every twenty minutes. I was VERY lucky in that I never got cracked or bleeding nips, no thrush, mastitis or clogged ducts (but thanks to my BFing class, I would have known how to proceed if I had!) and the painful period really only lasted a few weeks. I promise, it will get better.

Once we got the hang of it, it really was smooth sailing. I NIP (nurse in public) pretty much all the time. I have a Hooter Hider, but I usually forget it at home. A receiving blanket works well also, but not at first. It takes more practice (and less modesty) than a nursing cover. Now, BFing is really easy and I can't imagine doing it any other way. I was very proud and happy to tell his pedi at his 4 month check up that we'd only ever given him breast milk.

Since I do not SAH, I have to pump. I have a Lansinoh Double Electric pump, and I love it. It was kind of tricky figuring out a pump schedule that worked for both me and my company, but we worked it out. I highly reccomend reaching out to your HR team to see what can be worked out. I am given three 30 minute breaks (two unpaid, 1 paid) each day. I take the first around 9-9:30ish, my lunch around 12 and the last at 3. This allows enough time (at efficient intervals) to take care of business.

For the last 2 weeks, I have been sick. Fighting off head colds, then a persistant cough and a sore throat. One thing you learn on your BFing class, is that when you get sick, you should keep nursing. It helps to pass the antibodies on to your baby so they will be less likely to catch whatever you have. Also, when you're sick you're supply takes a hit. I knew that this was a possibility, but it still caught me off guard when my supply TANKED late last week. I went from pumping close to 20 oz each day (10, 5, 4) to 11 total (4, 4, 3). Ouch. Wyatt needs 16+ ozs at daycare each day. We can get away with 14, but he gets pretty hungry by the time I get there at night. Anything less that is just not enough, and would result in starving my child. So we broke down and bought some formula to send to daycare. I'm not giving up, but I can't keep up right now, So until my supply comes back up (which I can already tell is happening - 7 ozs in one session this morning!!) he'll have to have a few ozs of the canned stuff each day.

I could use your support, I'm actually feeling pretty down about it. :( Pin It


Sara said...

I just wrote about this on Monday! And last Wednesday too.

My posts about BFing seem to just ramble on forever... the advice giving must be a mommy thing - we think we know it all now? ;-)

I had some kind of bug last week and the week before and my supply really showed it... I'm on the upswing now, but it's been really uneven since then.

Anyway, you are not alone! I too was all kinds of proud to tell my son's pedi he'd only ever had breast milk, and if I can hold DH off just a little longer, we might be able to say the same thing at 6 months!

Good luck :)

Baby Mama said...

You can do it! Don't beat yourself up about the formula because you are still doing your best and that's what matters! I planned to ebf but was so exhausted after delivery that her first meal was formula, the nurse assured me a little fornula wouldn't ruin her (I felt really crappy about it)and she was right, this kid refuses to take a bottle! Keep up the good work and share your tips on NIP, my DD is 6 weeks old and it makes me so nervous!

Amber and Brian said...

I really want to BF when I have a baby, but I'm not gonna lie, this just scared the living hell outta me!

PeasOut said...

Ambie! Don't be scared! It seriously wasn't that big of a deal, and the annoying parts were very short lived. I LOVE breastfeeding, and it makes me sad to think about not being able to do it! It's totally worth it. Especially if you work from home and don't have to pump!

breedwoman said...

Try on the weekend, especially in the future, to build up a stash then you won't have to suppliment with formula! I have a stash that could feed her for 2 months if i got sick or whatever! It WILL come back! Drink TONS (like 100oz of water)! Good luck!

Bekah said...

oh bummer! i agree with the othe commenter, build up a supply if you can, but try not to be too hard on yourself. you are suck, you are trying, it might just take some time to get back on track!!

and yeah...i was NOT prepared for the engorgement, but then again it took my body three flippin months to regulate my supply! my nipples bled, got a clogged duct about every week or so, and we are currently dealing with our fourth flare up of thrush! still worth it to me...but come on boobs!! said...

Great blog. Congrats on the new baby. Good Luck with BF.

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Anonymous said...

I am just getting caught up with your blog. I have been MIA since having my own baby on New Years Eve. BTW - Happy Mother's Day. I just had to comment on something you mentioned that really fires me up! I can't believe your company it making you take 1 hour a day of unpaid time to pump! WTH (no more F's now that I'm a Mommy). Do they charge all the smokers for the time they miss on their "smoke breaks!" Corp. america really makes me mad when it comes to Mom's. How many different hats we have have to wear...and they are billing you for giving your baby the best possible breakfast, lunch and dinner. You should tell them how breastfeed babies are normally healthier...and you will be taking less days off because your little Wyatt won't be sick as much as bottle feed babies (please note I mean no disrespect to bottle feed babies)! Ugh..I'm sorry. I was just so annoyed to read that. But good for you that it didn't stop you.


Anonymous said...

Very nice and intrestingss story.