Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mother: 11 Not So Warm and Fuzzy Truths

Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mother: 11 Not So Warm and Fuzzy Truths

This is not a pro or con breastfeeding post.  It is a reflection of nursing my first child for 15 months.

1. I thought about quitting all the time.

For the first four months of breastfeeding I had to talk myself into not quitting almost everyday. I felt like my baby nursed all day long, he wasn’t on any type of schedule, I never knew when he was actually hungry or full, and it drove me bananas.

2. The older my baby got the more uncomfortable I was nursing in front of others.

It felt awkward to me if my baby would bury his face in my chest or pull on my top because he wanted to nurse. After my baby turned about 7 months old I stop nursing him in front of others which wasn’t that complicated because he was also eating foods at that age.

3. It made me lazy.

I nursed my baby to feed him, comfort him, and put him to sleep. Its just so easy.

4. Formula, cereal, and baby food were my biggest enemies.

From my family to the doctors I really didn’t want to hear about feeding my baby anything but breastmilk especially since I was really relying on breastfeeding to help me lose the weight I had gained during my pregnancy.  I always felt pushed to give him other foods even though I didn’t think it was time.

5. I felt unsupported by everyone.

When I was pregnant I assumed I’d be glorified for breastfeeding my baby, but I always felt like my family was trying to talk me into quitting or questioning whether or not baby was getting enough to eat. Even the doctor told me to quit after baby developed a milk protein allergy, like there were no other options at hand. I didn’t quit, I ate an extremely dairy free diet and kept right on nursing.

6. I found support on the internet.

There are a lot of Facebook groups and websites with tons of support out their for breastfeeding mothers. I visited sites like these often especially when I wanted to stop nursing.

7. I had mixed feelings throughout my entire breastfeeding journey.

I could never figure out if I loved breastfeeding more than I hated it or hated it more than I loved it but I know I loved and hated it. If that makes any sense at all, to summarize I had an intense love hate relationship with breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding is tough, but formula feeding comes with its own bag of issues, and its an expensive bag.




8. I dreaded weaning.

Nursing is just so easy, once you get the hang of it. My goal was to nurse for a year, but once a year came and went the thought of weaning daunted me to no end. I didn’t know where to start. I really just didn’t want to deal with the “drama” of cutting my baby off, and I was still using nursing to put him to sleep. Eventually though, around 15 months, he lost interest and over about two weeks he completely stop nursing.

9. Breastfeeding can make you feel chained to your baby.

Any time I was away from my baby I turned into a mathematician trying to figure out how long I’d been gone compared to the last time baby had nursed. I never really could let go or feel free.

10. Breastfeeding can be so awkward.

When I would nurse my baby he was make these sounds, like sounds you make when your eating really good dessert. It was so cute and funny, but in front of people it was enough to make me want to crawl under a rock.

11. It made me snobby.

I really grew to dislike mothers that turned their noses up to breastfeeding, never at least giving it a chance, but I liked them more than the mothers that harped on their “exclusively breastfed baby.” My baby was never exclusively breastfed because the NICU fed him formula without running it by me. We had to use formula quite a bit in our breastfeeding journey.

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Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

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9 Must Have Products for Pumping

9 Must Have Products for Pumping

This post may contain affiliate links.

I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

1. Formula

My NICU baby started off on formula.  We used the Ready to Feed Similac because they are so much easier to travel with, especially when formula is not your go to feeding style.  We got off to such a rocky start breastfeeding that during each feeding time I would attempt to nurse, then my husband would feed my baby formula (or pumped milk) while I pumped.  We had to do this for about a week until baby finally latched.  Sometimes I would be in so much pain from nursing that I’d use formula too.  When I started leaving my baby, I didn’t have a lot of pumped milk stashed so we also used formula for those times as well.

2. Medela Pump

This Medela Pump is awesome.  I started out with a Lansinoh Pump, but the Medela is so much easier to use, and travel with, plus it is so much more efficient.

3. Car Adapter+

I purchased the  car adapter to go along with my Medela Pump. When I returned to work I would pump in the car during my 30 minute commute.  Pumping in the car really boosted my supply.   I used this pumping bra to remain hands free.  This nursing cover helped me cover up everything without interfering with my seatbelt.

4. Small Cooler

I purchased this small cooler because it would be easy to lug around when I returned to work.  It held everything I needed to pump at work everyday.

5. Medela Ice Pack

I used this Medela Ice Pack in my cooler bag when I returned to work.  I recommend having two of these in case you forget to refreeze it one day. It fits perfectly between the bottles, not taking up extra space.  It is also dishwasher safe!




6. Extra Pump Parts

Keeping everything ready and clean can get very overwhelming.  I recommend have extra pump parts so you don’t have to constantly wash something after you use it.

7. Lansinoh Bottles

Lansinoh Bottles are essential for breastfed babies.  They are clinically proven to reduce nipple confusion.  The design of the bottle and nipple enable baby to use the same feeding actions they use while breastfeeding. I love how few parts these bottles have, while also reducing air intake.  They are also BPA and BPS free.

8. Breastmilk Bottle Warmer
The Kiinde Kozii is a bottle warmer specifically made for warming breastmilk. The Kiinde Kozii creates a flowing warm water bath to quickly and gently thaw and warm breast milk according to CDC and USDA guidance. You don’t have to add water each time you use it. It has a timer that lets you know how much time is left before the milk is ready.  When the time is up, the warmer shuts off and completely removes the heat source from the milk, which means you don’t have to worry about overheated milk. Kozii can be used for breast milk, formula, storage bags (frozen or thawed), liner bottles, plastic, glass, and food jars.

9. Hand Pump

The Lansinoh Hand Pump  has two modes to stimulate and express, for for milk in less time. It is great to use when you don’t have enough time for a true pumping session. It is BPA and BPS free.

 

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12 Things About My 12 Week Maternity Leave

Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to your e-mail. 1. It was 13 weeks long. I’m a teacher so after 12 weeks I returned to work for two days, and then we had a week off for Spring Break. It really helped me ease back into working mom life. 2....

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Baby Boy Nursery

I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to...

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Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Pumping at Work: 10 Tips for Success

Pumping at Work: 10 Tips for Success

This post may contain affiliate links.

Pumping at work can be so daunting and can discourage a breastfeeding mother retuning to work, from continuing her and her baby’s breastfeeding journey. I’ve compiled a list of tips that helped me successfully breastfeed for 15 months, even after returning to work 12 weeks postpartum.

I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Pumping at Work: 10 Tips for Success

1.  Don’t be afraid of formula.

My baby’s caregiver always had formula as a back up.  It really took the pressure off me because some days I just didn’t pump enough or baby was really hungry.  The caregiver knew to always use the pumped milk before using formula.  And my baby had had formula prior to my return to work, so he was accustomed to it.

2. I recommend having a Medela Pump.

I have this one.  The book bag makes everything easily accessible. Medea also has a car adapter.  When I first retuned to work I was using a Lansinoh pump, after I switched to Medela, I was pumping more, and had a much easier time lugging everything around.

3. Consider pumping in the car.

I had a 30 minute commute, so I would often pump in the car, after I made the switch to the Medela pump.  I purchased their car adapter, and used this pumping bra to remain hands free.  This nursing cover helped me cover up everything without interfering with my seatbelt. The extra pumping helped me increase my supply too.

4. Use a small cooler.

I purchased this small cooler because it looked more like a lunch box than a cooler.  I kept it in the fridge at work, but it also kept everything cold on days that I kept it with me instead.

5. Use the Medela Ice Pack.

I used this Medela Ice Pack.  I recommend having two of these in case you forget to refreeze it one day. It fits perfectly between the bottles, not taking up extra space.  It is also dishwasher safe!



6. Use one set of pump parts a day.

You do not need new pump parts each time you pump during the day.  All you need to do is keep your pump parts cold.  My cooler had two pumping bottles, and two spare bottles in it each day.

7. Pump into the bottles your baby uses.

Unfortunately, this didn’t work for me, and may not for you either, but there is a way around it. I was using a Medela pump, but my baby used Lansinoh bottles.  My cooler had two capped Lansinoh bottles, and two Medela bottles topped with the pumps parts.  On a typical day I would pump 10 ounces, which filled both Lansinoh bottles. I kept an extra capped Lansinoh bottle in my Medela book bag. After each pumping session, I would pour the milk into the Lansinoh bottle.  Each day when I picked up baby, I would place the capped Lansinoh bottles in the fridge.  Tip #7 is crucial because chilled breastmilk separates, and much of the fat will stick to its container once chilled.

8. Get a breastmilk friendly bottle warmer.

The Kiinde Kozii is a bottle warmer specifically made for warming breastmilk.  My baby’s caretaker would warm the Lansinoh bottle and top it with a Lansinoh nipple, easy peasy.

9. Work out the details before you go back to work.

Prior to returning to work I talked with my pricipal about when and where I thought I could pump.  I pumped 3 times a day, for 20 minutes at a time, in a small storage room.  It was not an ideal location, and I was walked in on a few times.  I always kept my back to the door just to be safe.  Also ideally you need 20 minutes of pure pumping, try to factor in additional time to get set up, etc. 30 minutes would be best.

10. Keep you eyes on the prize.

Countless times I was beyond ready to throw in the towel.  Keeping up with all the bottles, being unavailable during my planning time, the awkward moments of being walked in on or lugging my supplies around, I was ready to give it all up. I would just remind myself that my goal was to nurse my baby for a year, and I did not want my job to get in the way of that.

Don't let the fear of pumping at work put an end to your breastfeeding journey. These tips will help you be successful!

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9 Must Have Products for Pumping

Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to your e-mail. I'm a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to...

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ABCmouse.com

Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Follow Me on Social Media:

contact me: