Breastfeeding Series: My Experience Pt. 3

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. This post is part of my breastfeeding experience. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

Check out the other posts from this series and the “More Milk Naturally” ebook giveaway

 
 

6. Did you have a breast feeding goal?

My breastfeeding goal was six months to begin with and then, when I hit that mark, it changed to one year. When I realized that I was going to hit the year mark I considered continuing nursing. There were several reasons I decided to stop. But, one big one, was that I was applying for full-time work. I didn’t want to start a new job and insist on pumping time.
When we hit a year we started weaning. I expected it to take at least 4 months. But, by the time my son was 14 months old we were done. It was bittersweet. It was nice to have my body back. It was sad to not have that time with him. But, lately he has begun cuddling with me when he has his morning bottle and his evening bottle. It is so sweet.
Already trying to get into a Starbucks treat with Macey
Kiddo wants coffee just like Daddy. (No coffee was in the cup, he does not need MORE energy.)

7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it?

Yep! Weaning was much easier than I had anticipated. I started weaning at a year by cutting out the day time feedings I was doing. He would nurse in the morning and then drink organic whole milk throughout the day, along with his regular meals. At night I would nurse before he went to bed and when he woke up at night.
Pretty soon we took out the morning feedings. And, before long…. goodbye evening feedings. I had hardly any pain or engorgement when weaning. I think that some weird part of me wanted it to be harder.
See, you don’t need to nurse to make ‘em sleepy… blueberry pancakes do the job as well!

8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding?

Know that it might not be easy and you may have to work at it. But, also… don’t pressure yourself too much. There is too much pressure out there and too many people telling parents what is best for their baby. Take advice, chew it up, decide which parts work best for you (and your baby), and then throw the rest out of the window.
I’m not saying take the easy way out… I’m saying, no one knows all the answers.
Also, if you need help, ask for it. Surprisingly enough, I was able to be strong and push through the first two months of my son’s life when he was screaming non-stop and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Then, when we figured out what he needed and things were getting better, something inside me snapped and I fell into a pretty deep depression. I had constant anxiety attacks. I got the help I needed and things got much, much better.
Have you weaned your child? If so, how did it go?
What is YOUR advice for nursing moms?
Thank you for reading!
I’d love to hear about your story as well!

Breastfeeding Series: My Experience Pt. 2

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. This post is part of my breastfeeding experience. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

Check out the other posts from this series and the “More Milk Naturally” ebook giveaway

Don’t eat that!

The Middle of My Breastfeeding Experience:

 Back to Work, Formula, and Solid Foods

The Breastfeeding Journey of Jenni Bost & Baby X
(I’m splitting my story up into parts because I am awfully long-winded.)
See The Beginning of My Experience HERE.

4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food?

One night when my son was about 2 months old I remember waking up to his cries and a smelly, wet shirt. I changed my shirt and went to feed my son. After feeding him and holding him while he fell back asleep, he suddenly woke and ejected everything that I fed him. I sat and cried as he cried. I cried about the wasted milk. I cried about the lack of sleep. I cried about my son’s pain. And, I cried because I needed to find a clean shirt, once again. I remember thinking then that it would be SO much easier to just heat up a bottle of formula. Everyone suggested I add cereal to my son’s bottle so he’d fill up more and sleep better at night. I thought very hard about it every night when he’d wake like clockwork every 45 minutes.
I abstained from feeding him anything but breast milk for the first 4 months of his life. I really, really wanted breastfeeding to work. But, when I went back to work (as a bartender in a restaurant), I had a lot of trouble pumping enough milk for my son to eat. I did fine for a while because I had stocked up a bunch of milk in the freezer. But, after a while my husband and I decided to do formula on the two nights of the week that I worked.
So, each week my son would drink 4 bottles of formula mixed with breast milk. It helped us extend the life of my dwindling milk supply. Had I not had to pump in the car in front of my restaurant or had a leisurely time to pump…maybe it had been different. But, adding formula to our routine worked for us and kept everyone from being stressed out.
X liked formula just fine. But, he always preferred me. :) We continued this until he weaned. He was never strictly one or the other since we introduced formula. (Oh, and, we used Soy formula because my son had an intolerance to dairy.)
OH, and we totally tried the cereal in the milk thing and it completely failed for us. Of course, kid still wakes up 3 times a night hungry. Doctor said it is most likely due to the fact that he is growing super fast and needs the extra calories. Who knows!
TIPS for Working Mothers: 
1. PUMP like crazy before going back to work to stock up on your milk.
2. Buy a GOOD pump. My first pump broke after 5 weeks. So, there I was with engorged breasts and no way to pump it out. Pumping with your hand hurts, a lot. I bought a Medela Manual Pump and it was heads and shoulders better than my original electric pump. If I had a better pump things might have turned out differently.
3. Make sure you have the time to pump, a comfortable place to pump, and food and water with you. This was the most difficult part for me with my workplace. Working in a restaurant meant that there were not any places that I could pump on the premises other than the only employee restroom. I had the choice of pumping in my car or hearing people knock on the door nearly the entire time I was trying to pump. They gave me as much time to pump as they could, but eating and pumping couldn’t happen in that amount of time.

5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies?

Solids…. the rule of thumb is 6 months. There are several good reasons to stick with this. We didn’t. Our son started making all of the classic “signs” that he was ready for solid food. He was also hungry ALL the time. X got his first solid foods around 5 months.
We first started him with a bowl of whole wheat rice cereal. He had two bowls of this before meeting with his doctor. She suggested that we throw the rice cereal out the window and go straight to vegetables. At her suggestion we went through the green vegetables first (no spinach) and then went to the orange veggies. We introduced each new vegetable for three or four days before introducing anything new. We waited until we got through several vegetables before trying fruit because we didn’t want him getting used to the sweetness of the fruit.
Some important things I found out about solids:
  • Look for signs that your babe is ready for solids–don’t push solids on them early! X was sitting up by himself, able to pick things up with his finger and thumb, had teeth (not a necessity, but a bonus), and mimicked my husband and I as we were eating. He wanted what we had!
  • Skip the cereal. (I’m not a doctor, please check with your doctor before doing any of this!) Our pediatrician made a good point when discussing the cereal. She said, “We live in a carb-addicted world that is overweight and suffering from weight-related diseases. We wonder why… but, we start our children on carb loaded foods instead of healthier foods!” We took her advice and X had no problem digesting his food.
  • Don’t worry about getting certain nutrients–yet. If you are breastfeeding (or doing formula) then your child is getting the essential nutrients they need. Use this time to introduce your child to a variety of different (approved) foods and watch for allergic reactions.
  • Be prepared for the poo to change. It is gross. Just sayin’.
Did you use formula with your child? If so, how did it go?
What did you learn about introducing solids to your baby?
Check back tomorrow for part three of my breastfeeding experience. Thank you for reading!
I’d love to hear about your story as well!

Breastfeeding Series: My Experience Pt. 1

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. This post is part of my breastfeeding experience. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

Check out the other posts from this series and the “More Milk Naturally” ebook giveaway


The Beginning of My Breastfeeding Experience

The Breastfeeding Journey of Jenni Bost & Baby X
(I’m splitting my story up into parts because I am awfully long-winded.)

1. Why did you decide to breastfeed?

I decided to breastfeed for the same reasons many moms decide: I’ve read that it is better for the baby, good for the mom, and great for the wallet.
I’m not going to lie– a large portion of it was in hopes that I would lose any baby weight I gained. I’ve had weight problems for years and I’d heard that women lose a ton of weight while breastfeeding. By the by… for me that rumor was true. I just didn’t realize that after I stopped breastfeeding I’d gain weight so quickly. Bugger.
While I have read everywhere that “breast is best” I was never entirely convinced that it was the only option that would benefit my child. I was a formula baby and (not bragging) I have a high IQ, was a healthy child (my adult health issues are mostly due to poor eating/drinking decisions), and NO ALLERGIES! Do I feel that it is natural and that we were made this way? Yes. Do I feel like it is the only responsible option for a woman? NO. In retrospect I’ve come to realize that a lot of a woman’s mental state in those first few months are very important to the baby. I’m not saying give up if breast feeding is hard. I’m saying, if you end up choosing to do something else because you feel like it is best for your mental/physical well-being, then THAT is what is best for you and your babe. I’m not a doctor. I’m a mom.
Breastfeeding is SO much cheaper than formula. As much as we tried to prepare for the costs of a baby, we were no where near ready. Being able to feed my child whenever he needed it, no matter the circumstances, was important for me.

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding?

Looking back I realize that I had it fairly easy while breastfeeding. At the time I felt like my world was ending. But, it was heaps better than some of the problems people are faced with! I didn’t experience cracked nipples or extreme pain. Here are some of the problems (and solutions) we did experience though:
— The beginning was rough for us. I couldn’t get a hold that would great for me and my son. The nurses at our hospital were all trained in the area and helped me a ton those first two days. They helped him get a latch. At the hospital we found out that my son has a bit of a high palette so his latch was pretty painful for me. I had blisters that first day, but they were gone the next day and we had the latch down by the time we left the hospital.
— We made it through our entire hospital visit without the use of a pacifier. I had read that it is better for latch if your baby doesn’t use one. After about two hours of screaming at home we caved and found the pacifier sent home from the hospital. Even though he did end up using pacifiers for a bit during his babyhood… X liked to suck on our fingers when he needed soothed.
—The day we got home from the hospital feedings went fine. That night and next day however was horrible. It was like we had forgotten everything! I couldn’t feed my son and he was SO upset. My hormones were ALL over the place. It was a bad situation.
I remember going into the doctor’s office and meeting my lactation consultant. I was there for a different appointment and she just recognized our name as one of her future appointments and wanted to say hi. As soon as she said who she was I started bawling in the middle of the doctor’s office waiting room.
“I need you SO bad!!” I bawled.
She calmed me down and explained that she was booked for the day, but would let me doctor know I needed a little help. The pediatrician helped my son and I relearn the latch and begin doing the “football” hold. It was a lifesaver. I will always feel thankful for those two women.
A week later, when I met with the lactation consultant, my son and I had breastfeeding down and he had gained 4 oz!
— My son screamed solidly for two months. If he wasn’t eating or sleeping he was screaming. And, sometimes, he was screaming while eating or sleeping. I brought him to the pediatrician so many times.  We tried EVERYTHING. Finally, I had to take out all dairy from my diet and my son was put on antacids for reflux. After three weeks of no dairy and antacids it was like we had a different baby. He was happy, more relaxed.

3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment?

Ahh… so many! I loved the way my son rested his face on his hand when he ate. I loved when he looked up into my eyes with such love.
Some of my greatest moments were so simple and sweet.
However… I am super proud that I could breastfeed while walking (not something I did often, but at times needed to do) and in the bath!
Check back tomorrow for part two of my breastfeeding experience. Thank you for reading!
I’d love to hear about your story as well!

Breast Feeding Series: Giveaway!

I love it when we have something fun to giveaway! 
Megan, from The Boho Mama, has offered to giveaway a copy of her eBook “More Milk Naturally.”
(See Megan’s part of experience in our breastfeeding series here!)

The book covers: 
- Foods nursing mothers have eaten for over 2,000 years to support
   and increase supply
- Why what you eat (and how much) really matters
- Why eating the right kinds of fat is important for you and your
    baby
- Recipes to increase your milk quantity and quality
- Troubleshooting beyond foods for low milk supply
And more! 


How do you enter? Easy! Use this handy dandy Rafflecopter app to put in your entries. A random winner will be chosen on Sunday, Nov. 18!

Breastfeeding Series: Megan of The Boho Mama

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 



The Experience of Breastfeeding: Megan and Ruthie & Afton

by Megan of The Boho Mama
I’m super excited to be introducing you to Megan who is going to give us a look into breastfeeding not one, but TWO babies. Megan is a generous, kind soul and I am so lucky to know her and her family in real life and on the web. She blogs over at The Boho Mama about her journey as the mother of twins, natural parenting, and more. She just finished writing 31 days about breastfeeding… and, I’m telling you, there is SO much information that I totally could have use during my breastfeeding journey. Megan also has an eBook out called, “More Milk, Naturally.” She has graciously offered to give a copy away here on the blog! Check back later today for the giveaway!

1. Why did you decide to breast feed?

My mom nursed all three of her kids, so it was something I was comfortable with and just assumed I would do. It wasn’t until I started reading more about the incredible benefits – both for mom and baby – of breast milk that I was totally sold. When I found out I was having twins, I was even more resolved to make it work!

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding?

We’ve had a lions share of challenges, actually. First, there is the assumption by many that women can’t produce enough for two babies, which couldn’t be further from the truth, but it does take a lot of awareness and dedication to protecting your milk supply when there is more than one. As soon as they were born I started pumping around the clock! I also became a little obsessed with milk-making foods, but the great product of that obsession was my e-Book, so now I get to share what I’ve learned with all the other mamas out there. Oh, and we relied on nipple shields for almost 5 months – messy and inconvenient, but one day they just decided they were done using them without me having to “wean” them, so that was good!
Second, we found out that the girls both had tongue and lip ties after 10 months of uncomfortable nursing. It was pretty painful, and I knew something was wrong, but it wasn’t until I saw the 4th lactation consultant that she confirmed that there was a problem. Once it was fixed, it felt so much better. But I was so upset that we had gone that long, even when I explicitly asked the LC’s about it.
Third, just the nature of twins means somebody always needs something, and that includes nursing. For the first three months of their lives, I don’t think I got up more than to eat and go to the bathroom. Otherwise, it was all nursing all the time. It was and still is a little exhausting, but they grow up so fast and now those early milk-soaked days are a little bittersweet.

3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment?

My greatest moment was when we came home from the NICU and I decided that we would throw the schedules out the window and go strictly on-demand. In the hospital, they tried to scare me into supplementing with formula, and that I wasn’t making enough. But I knew that I could, and I knew that is what they needed. We never looked back, and it’s been so amazing, despite the many times when I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. Then, every week that we made it after that was my greatest moment. And, 15 months later, it still is such a great moment when I look back on how far we’ve come.

4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food?

The girls were fortunate enough to have donor breast milk in the NICU, which I am so, so thankful for. They had a little supplemental formula added to my breast milk the days or two before they came home, but I stopped that immediately after they were discharged. If I was going to give my body the chance to make enough and meet the demand, I really could not afford to supplement at all. Luckily, it paid off and my body made more than enough milk for the two of them.

5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies?

My girls were late to the solids game. They weren’t interested until around 9 months. I would give them a little bit of a soft-boiled egg yolk and coconut oil before that, or some mashed avocado and banana, but they didn’t want vegetables. I was worried at first, but everything that I read said not to rush them, and when they were ready, they would certainly let me know. Now they’re really into food, but for some reason, are still really into nursing, too. I thought they’d nurse less as they ate more, but that hasn’t happened!

6. Did you have a breast feeding goal?

My goal was simple: as long as I had milk, we would nurse. What that means for when we’ll stop, I’m still not sure!

7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it?

We’ve weaned through a night feeding, so they’re now sleeping after a 10pm feeding until around 6am. It’s been gloriously needed, because before that they were waking up every 3-4 hours. I’m still not sure how or when we’ll wean, I just can’t bring myself to think about it or make a plan!

8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding?

My biggest tip is that when you think you can’t go on, just go one more day. Then, that one more day turns into a week, and into a month, and pretty soon you’ve hit a year. You will not be sorry, and will be so proud of yourself! Honestly, almost every single mama I’ve talked to that stopped early wishes she hadn’t. It’s hard when you’re in the throes of sleep deprivation and you just want your life back, but when you come through it, it’s an absolutely amazing experience.
Oh, and seek help out as soon as you think something isn’t right, don’t wait! Find a lactation consultant that you like, and see more than one. They all have something different to offer. They have been a lifesaver for me and I don’t think I would have made it this far without their help.
My last piece of advice is to eat well and often, and as clean as you can with lots of good fats. No dieting! :)

 

Thank you so much to Megan for sharing her breastfeeding experience and being part of the “experience of breast feeding” post series! Please leave Megan your love in the comments section! And, don’t forget to come back later today for a chance to win Megan’s ebook, “More Milk Naturally.”
I’m linking this post up to the following parties:
Parlo and LogiGetting to Know You

 

Breastfeeding Series: Katherine of Somewhere in the Middle

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 
 
 

The Experience of Breastfeeding: Katherine and Rylee & Reese

by Katherine of Somewhere in the Middle
 
Hey there! I’m Katherine. First of all, thanks Jenni for asking me to be a part of your breastfeeding series! I blog over at Somewhere in the Middle. I have a slight obsession with coffee, making lists w/ check boxes and post-it notes. I’ve been married for 7 years to a guy I’ve known my entire life and who I’ve had a crush on since I was 14.I’m mama to two little girls; Rylee, 4 {and a half!, if you ask her} and Reese, 3 months. I never realized the journey breastfeeding would take me on…I’ve gone from one extreme to the next in regard to my feelings on breastfeeding my girls. I’ve loved it, I’ve hated it, I’ve wished it wouldn’t take so long, I’ve cherished the quiet time with my girls, etc etc. Bottom line, I’m thankful I’ve been able to maintain breastfeeding while working full time outside the home and even having to travel on occasion. 
1. Why did you decide to breast feed? To be honest, the main reason I set out to breastfeed was because of the money it would save us.
 

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding? With my oldest, Rylee, we had latching issues pretty early on. She seemed to be doing great in the hospital, then our very first night home I couldn’t get her to latch on my right side. She went almost 12 hours without eating. At the same time, my milk was coming in with a vengeance, making it even harder each feeding for me to even try to get her to latch. Thankfully, the first thing the next morning we went straight to my OB’s office to meet with the lactation consultant. We determined I needed a nipple shield to help with Ry’s latch. I left that consultation with a brand new baby that was finally able to eat and a brand new breast pump, just in case. We were able to ditch the shield when she was about 4 months old.
With Reese, she had a little bit of a rough time latching on my right side as well, but we were able to work through that without the use of the shield. My biggest challenge with her was a painful latch between 1 & 2 weeks in. I would clinch my jaw, dig my feet into the ground and ball up my hands into fists every single time she started to nurse.
Traveling for work while breastfeeding always presented its own challenge as well. I’ve navigated pumping in some pretty crazy places like airport restrooms, porta-potties at events and most recently a bathroom stall at a NASCAR race. There’s just something about going through airport security with 100+ ounces of breast milk that’s always fun. 
3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment? Hands down, my greatest breastfeeding moment to date just happened last week. I’ve been blessed with an abundant milk supply and had an ever-growing freezer supply so I decided to donate nearly all of my freezer supply to a mama that’s been struggling with producing milk and her 3 week old baby.
4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food? Kind of a funny story…when Rylee was 11 months old she pretty much turned up her nose at the boob. She was done. I kind of freaked out. Between continuing to pump and my freezer stash she continued with only breast milk for about 2 more weeks. When all that was gone & my supply had dried up, 2 weeks before her first birthday, we bought her formula and gave that to her until she turned 1. Hindsight? She would have been fine going straight to cow’s milk, but I was so concerned that all the books said to wait until 1 year.
So far with Reese we’ve been solely breast milk.
5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies? We started Rylee on solids just after she was 6 months old. We started with barley cereal, mixed with breast milk. I’m thinking we’ll do the same thing with Reese. As far as tips go? Well, I’ll be asking for them for Reese! It’s been 4 years since we’ve done this! Haha.
I did really like the book “Super Baby Food”. I’ll probably reference that as we start to think about introducing solids to Reese.
6. Did you have a breast feeding goal? My goal for breastfeeding has always been just to do it as long as made sense/I was able to. Ultimately, in the back of my mind I had the one year mark as my goal, but I also knew that sometimes things don’t work out quite like I may have planned and I didn’t want to get down on myself if it didn’t work out.
7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it? I mentioned earlier that Rylee weaned herself at 11 months. No matter how many times I offered to nurse her, she wanted nothing to do with it. 
And right now, Reese is so little I don’t even want to think about her weaning. I’d like to just stop time right now, thankyouverymuch.  But seriously, if she doesn’t wean herself like her older sister did, I’ll probably start slowly cutting out nursing sessions starting when she’s about a year old.
8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding? I guess my best tip would be, just give it a shot. It may not be easy. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone and that’s ok. Parenting is tough stuff. Sometimes breastfeeding is awesome. Sometimes it’s not. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle with it. It’s perfectly normal. Bottom line is this: you need to do what’s best for you and your baby and only you can determine what “right” is.
 
 

 

Thank you so much to Katherine for sharing her breastfeeding experience and being part of the “experience of breast feeding” post series! Please leave Katherine your love in the comments section! 

I’m linking this post up in these parties: 

Beautiful ThursdaysPhotobucket

Breastfeeding Series: Kira of Rain or Shine

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 


The Experience of Breastfeeding: Kira & Pearl

by Kira of Rain OR Shine
I met Kira online over a year ago when she and I were both pregnant. Her blog, Rain OR Shine, was such fun to read while pregnant with my son (she was just a month behind me in her pregnancy). It is even more fun to read now that she posts the most adorable photos of Pearl and her Portlander Problems series (SO FUNNY!) I have been lucky enough to also meet this lovely lady and her daughter in real life. (And, yes… she is really that beautiful and ridiculously sweet to boot!)


1. Why did you decide to breast feed? 

I decided to breast feed for two reasons. The main reason was because it’s an undisputed fact that breast milk is just better for your baby than formula.  She gets the antibodies from my milk that she wouldn’t get from formula to help keep her from getting sick.  It is also easier for babies to digest.  The second reason is that it’s free and babies are expensive!  You have to buy so much for those tiny little people so it’s nice to not spend all of that money on formula as well.

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding?

My biggest challenge was during the first four months of Pearl’s life.  She would often eat for an entire hour and was eating every two hours during the day.  That meant I was feeding her for an hour, I had an hour break, and then it started all over again.

3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment?

I didn’t have a specific moment, but we had a week where things finally started to click. Pearl started eating more efficiently and I realized that I was really figuring out how best to help her eat when she was having reflux issues.  I noticed that we were working together and that we were finally at a point where breast feeding had become “easy.”  In my birthing class, the instructor said that would happen when Pearl was around 6 weeks.  For us it really didn’t happen until she was four months, but I was so glad we stuck it through once we got to that point!

4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food?

Pearl was exclusively breast fed until she was six months old.  At that point I started making baby food to incorporate into her diet.  She started taking a lot more bottles of pumped milk at that point because she hated the cover I used when I tried to feed her in public.  She would refuse to eat, cry, and pull on it until she exposed me to everyone nearby.  I’m a pretty modest person and I just couldn’t deal with that.  So, when I didn’t have the opportunity to feed her behind a closed door or in the car, I made sure to always have a bottle with me.  By the time she was eight months old, I was so tired of pumping so I stopped.  We used up the rest of the milk in our freezer and I started supplementing with formula on occasion.  Between that point and the time she was a year old, I think I bought three containers of formula so she was still mostly breast fed.  By the time she was a year, I switched from supplementing with formula to organic whole milk.

5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies?

I waited until six months to introduce solids.  We never had any issues.  Pearl absolutely loves food and was willing to eat just about anything.  She only refused peas, but was willing to eat them mixed with other foods.  I don’t have many tips because we didn’t really have challenges there to overcome.  I used the Baby Bullet to make her food.  Pretty much any food processor would work, but I really love all of the little food storage containers that came with it.

6. Did you have a breast feeding goal?

I wanted to breast feed until she was a year old.  I didn’t have any strict rules on what that meant, and I wouldn’t have been super disappointed if it hadn’t worked out for that long.  I am glad that it did though.

7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it?

Pearl is almost 13 months and she only nurses first thing in the morning now.  She doesn’t seem to have a preference between the boob and a bottle so I recently gave up the evening feeding and just give her whole milk before bed.  I don’t think she would care if I stopped nursing tomorrow, but breast feeding first thing in the morning is just so much more convenient than making a bottle.  I pull her out of her crib and nurse her while I am in bed.  It gives me time to wake up and she often falls back to sleep when she nurses in the morning so that is pretty nice too.  I’m not sure how I am ever going to give up the morning feeding.

8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding?

It might be hard at first.  In fact, it probably will be.  You will consider giving up so many times.  But it gets so much easier.  It feels great to know that you are doing what is best for your child even if it is a little more work at the beginning.  You and your baby will figure it out together.  So I guess my tip would be to give it more time than you probably want to.  Stick it out and you will be glad that you did.


Thank you so much to Kira for sharing her breastfeeding experience and being part of the “experience of breast feeding” post series! Please leave Kira your love in the comments section! 

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Breastfeeding Series: Adi from Garden of Edlen

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

The Experience of Breastfeeding: Adi & Jack

by Adi Edlen of Garden of Edlen and Oddly Even Edlen
I met Adi (pronounced Oddy) through the a Portland Bloggers’ meet-up. I was thrilled to find out that she had a son just a bit younger than mine. She is one of the most kind people I’ve ever met and her smile seriously lights up a room. Adi’s son Jack is a happy little guy with the face of a baby model! They are both such a treat to know. Adi is an Interior Designer, a mom, and a blogger. She blogs about home design over at Garden of Edlen. She just began a personal blog as well, check it out at Oddly Even Edlen.

1. Why did you decide to breast feed?

I decided to breast feed because with a new baby I wanted to have the peace of mind knowing that I was doing something right. As a new mom there are so many unknowns with a newborn; how to diaper, how/where they should be sleeping etc. But I knew that breast feeding would be a clear and easy decision to make, and it would be one that the people around me would support without question.

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding?

It was excruciating for the first month. From beginning to end of each feeding I had to grit my teeth and ask my husband NOT to speak to me until I was done. It took some serious determination to keep doing it after 4 months at around Christmas time I finally weaned Jack and went to formula. I had exhausted myself from worrying about doing it perfectly and breast feeding was all I could ever think about. I had to make the difficult decision to either be a neurotic and tired momma or a sane and rested momma.

3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment?

My greatest moment was when nursing no longer hurt and it finally became easy. I was so happy to be giving Jack the best nutrition I possibly could while also not resenting the pain it was putting me through.

4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food?

I solely breast fed until Jack was 4 months old. After that he went straight to formula.

5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies?

Jack started solids at 6 months. My advice for mommies is to go with your gut about when your baby is ready. Jack didn’t have any teeth and despite seeing younger babies eating solids Jack wasn’t curious at all about food and was very happy with his bottle.

6. Did you have a breast feeding goal?

My goal was 6 months but I felt satisfied with his growth and health after 3 months of breast feeding. I’m proud I nursed for that additional month and don’t regret not meeting my original goal.

7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it?

Yes. Jack was already familiar with bottles because I would pump and his daddy would feed him at night so I wasn’t worried about the transition from bottle to breast. Luckily he didn’t mind the difference in taste so after seeing his positive reaction to formula I stopped nursing immediately.

8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding?

When I was struggling I went to a lactation specialist. Even after I felt like I was getting the hang of things I went again and I’m so glad I did. I was reassured and felt supported – I loved it!



Thank you so much to Adi for sharing her breastfeeding experience and being part of the “experience of breast feeding” post series! Please leave Adi your love in the comments section! 

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Breastfeeding Series: Sarah from Serendipitous Life

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

 

 

The Experience of Breastfeeding: Sarah & Isaac


When my breastfeeding journey began on September 9, 2011 around 8 am with an 8lb 9oz new born I never dreamed I’d still be doing a year later with a 25lb toddler. Feeding my son from my body is like nothing I ever imagined it would be. It has been difficult, yes, but rewarding in so many ways. 
I honestly didn’t consider any other path for feeding my son. I know that my mom nursed my sisters and me and that my husband’s mom nursed all four of her kids. My husband was all for it too. Two things that really helped solidify my desire and make me excited for breastfeeding were the book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and my Bradley Method Childbirth classes (which I very highly recommend if you’re interested in natural childbirth). Both the book and the classes stressed not only the nutritional value of breastfeeding for the child but the relationship/bond that a positive breastfeeding experience can be for both mother and child.  But there is really nothing that can prepare you for the actuality of breastfeeding. When my son was finally on my chest, cuddled up under warm towels I wasn’t thinking about feeding him, then when the nurses started to tell me he needed to nurse I tried, but he was so tiny and wobbly. I didn’t know how to position him, what a latch should look like, how it should feel when he did start eating. It took a few weeks to really feel like we had a hang of it and a few months to feel like we were really good at it.

The first three weeks were the absolute hardest of our breastfeeding experience. It HURT. Everyone said it wouldn’t. Everyone that is, except my mom, whose advice when I asked her was “Don’t give up. The first month it really hurts and you want to quit, but don’t give up.” There were times in the first three weeks of nursing that I would cry because I knew my son needed to eat, but I was in pain (I had mastitis on my left side) and I WANTED to feed him, knew it was the best thing for us both (lots of rest, empty breast!) and my husband would hand him to me and tears would stream down my face as he suckled. But, the mastitis did heal (and even the sore went away eventually) and I was SO glad I listened to my mom and to my instinct.
When my son was about 7 months old and he giggled while nursing. I accidently blew on his face and he thought it was funny. He started giggling but didn’t stop nursing. We played like that for a few minutes. Moments like that came more often as he got older. He wasn’t always falling asleep at the breast and sometimes he wanted to play a little bit too. He loves stroking my hair while he nurses. It isn’t all love and giggles, though. He gets rowdy sometimes, kicking me in the face, pinching, biting. That’s when it was really important for me to set boundaries. When he kicks, bites, etc. I usually say “Ouch!” really loudly and sometime I have to put him down. He might cry, but if he really needs to nurse he’ll settle down and listen to me. It’s amazing how much he can learn about interacting with me just through our breastfeeding relationship.
 
We tried solids around 6 months and he wasn’t ready. He just spit out the banana we had mashed up for him. Around 8 months we tried again and he was tentative; I had made a whole batch of pureed sweet potato and he spit it all out. Next we tried rice cereal. I hadn’t wanted to start with that since I had heard and read about the benefits of just starting straight in on fruits and veggies. It really works great for some kids but not for mine. He really started gobbling cereal down when my parents came and my dad would feed him warm rice cereal at dinnertime. He thought it was great fun to have Papa feed him! So, rice cereal at 8 months, phased in pureed veggies around 9 months, and went quickly to table food. Now he eats just about everything. I can never believe how much he eats! My advice for solids is: don’t worry! When your kiddo is ready he or she will switch over. Keep trying, even if he or she spits out the first bite, try again. But, don’t stress if they don’t seem to be getting much or liking what you offer…if they are still BFing (or eating formula) they are getting ALL the nutrition they need from you. Also, it’s great if you can make your own baby food, but buying something doesn’t make you a failure or a bad mom. Do your best, but don’t push yourself so hard that you don’t have any joy in spending time with your little one.
My son is nearly 14 months old and we haven’t weaned yet. My goal was 12 months but when he turned 1 it wasn’t like a magical switch flipped and he was just done. We are now in what I consider the bonus phase of nursing. And, honestly, I love nursing him! But I’m starting to see signs of self-weaning. We started offering cow’s milk around 1 and he wasn’t really interested. About a week ago I offered it again and he liked it! Then, the other day he didn’t even ask to nurse for about 7 hours (a long time for my little one). As I see the frequency of his nursing going down I see the intake of table food and cow’s milk increasing. It’s an interesting transition.  My guess is that he will be weaned without a whole lot of work or thought by about 18 months, which is just fine by me! I just want to be emotionally ready for the change in our relationship. For me, nursing is such a great tool. Not only does it nourish my little one, it can put him to sleep, soothe ouchies (lots of those with toddlers), help him calm down, stop bad behavior, or give him a moment of peace. 
 
 
 

A few tips for breastfeeding:

  1. Have a good support system around you! My husband was my number one supporter. He was never weird or awkward about me breastfeeding our son and he was such an encouragement in those first few weeks. He always let me turn on the light to get situated during the middle-of-the-night feedings when I had to sit up and prop up pillows, and get a tiny newborn to latch. He gave me space when I needed it and reminded me that my new role as a mom was beautiful to him. Our doula was also wonderful and was able to give me lots of advice about breastfeeding positions, my son’s latch, proper nutrition for breastfeeding, etc. I had many friends who were/had also breastfeeding and both my mom and mom-in-law offered support and encouragement. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it is from your mom (or mom-in-law), a friend, or a lactation consultant. While we were at the hospital I literally asked every nurse who came in to check out our latch!
  2. Get some really good nipple cream (I LOVE Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter, it doesn’t stain like lanolin). It’s little things, like taking care of sore nipples, that will help the transition go better. USE your Boppy pillow. I didn’t use it for a while (not sure why) but when I started it really helped me not be so tired from supporting my little one. 
  3. Read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. At times it might seem unrealistic; and, in my experience, there were things that got left out. But, every time I read it I felt empowered, part of a community of women, trust in my body, and joy in the relationship I have with my child.
  4. Take care of you. If you can, get a nice long hot shower while your partner watches the baby. Go on walks (even if you have to strap you little one to you or push a stroller). Listen to music you enjoy while nursing. Invest in an Ereader—they are perfect for nursing! Go out to dinner with your partner, the baby will be fine with a sitter for a couple of hours. Let people help you with dishes, laundry, shopping, cooking (especially if you get those offers when the baby is a bit older).
  5. Trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, check it out, ask questions, get help. Remember, you’re the best mama for your baby. You’ll make mistakes, but you love him more than anyone else and you will figure out what it is he needs.

Thank you to Sarah for sharing her story. To read more of Sarah’s tips and experiences in motherhood visit her blog The Serendipitous Life! Follow along this week to read other mother’s experiences with breastfeeding!

OH, and… today is Sarah’s Birthday! Wish her a big happy birthday and leave her a comment on her awesome story! 

*A link above is an affiliate link. I use and love the products I promote. But, if you happen to buy the product via an affiliate link then you help support the blogger that posted it. See here for my advertising policies. And, thanks for supporting me and my blog!


Breast Feeding Series

I’m so, SO excited about sharing a fun two week series on breast feeding here at Leave the Laundry for Later. Five amazing women shared some of their breast feeding stories with me to share with you.

I love how different everyone’s breast feeding experience is and I want this series to be out there for the everyday momma who needs some encouragement or to feel like they are not alone. There is no perfect way to do this big job.

Check back this next week for all the amazing stories from the women below:
Monday: Sarah of The Serendipitous Life 
Tuesday: Adi of Garden of Edlen & Oddly Even Edlen
Wednesday: Kira of Rain or Shine
Thursday: Katherine of Somewhere in the Middle
Friday: Megan of The Boho Mama
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