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!
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