little bits & pieces

Just call me "Moo" || A Breastfeeding Diary

Sunday, October 18, 2015
Hello ladies! Time to talk about my boobs! Breastfeeding, for me, has become my favorite part and the hardest part of motherhood. I wouldn't trade anything for the bond/feeling I get as she rubs my side with one little hand while clawing at my boob with the other. However, being at your babies beck and call takes a toll on me emotionally and physically as well. I never thought it would be so difficult since all I ever heard was how difficult latching was and so with Peyton latching instantly I thought it was all down hill from there!

First off, for you soon to be mommies...biggest mistake I made right off the bat was to not put my nipple balm (I ended up loving Honest) on my nipples in between every feeding from Day 1. I didn't think 3 days would make a difference but MANNN did it! Makes sense too if you think about all those long makeout sessions you had when you were younger...those chapped red lips were no joke after...I mean...whaaaaaa?! haha. Anyway, I took the breastfeeding classes (which I HIGHLY recommend) so I knew cracked and bleeding nipples were not ever suppose to happen...well it did. I thought it would take a lot more than just 3 days to do that to my nips...boy was I wrong! So ladies...lube up! Both luckily and unluckily I was forced to take a break from breastfeeding due to her need to be under the bili-light and in a day they healed (I mixed my breast milk with the nipple balm and applied). I hope I can prevent at least 1 mommy from this!

Now to the even more fun stuff, my second and third mistake. When she was born she latched right away and fed a lot, however I gave her the paci on day 2 sometimes because I knew she wouldn't get nipple confusion since she was so good at feeding. Well problem is that when babies are born they have a strong urge to suck for a reason!! Even though they really can't eat a lot because their stomach is a marble, you want them to nurse and suck so that it brings your milk faster and with more of a full flow to get the bilirubin out! 

The second mistake kinda created this third mistake. When my milk first came in at about day 3 or 4, Peyton was nursing non stop (with the paci here and there) and I knew as long as she was doing that I wouldn't need to worry about mastitis or anything else. Now in my breastfeeding class they said that your milk production adjusts to the babies wants...which is true. However, by day 5 my boobs were super engorged, hot (like they had a fever) and hard. I figured this just meant the I had a lot of milk and it was time for Peyton to nurse. This is not the case, for me because Peyton was high risk jaundice she wasn't sucking properly and not getting enough milk out, which was in turn not draining my breast properly. Luckily while she was under the lights I was advised to pump every hour and a half, first so Peyton didn't need as much formula and second because to them it was obvious that I was close to getting an infection (Mastitis) if I didn't. After half a day of doing this I felt SOOO much better, no more hot boobs and they actually started feeling deflated lol. I also figured out that due to me not properly draining my breasts, as well as not having her on the boob on demand (using a paci), I wasn't producing as much milk as they should have.

Once we got home I started a regime of pumping every three hours and nursing her on demand, which was every hour basically. It hasn't gotten me a ton of supply but it's enough to make 6-10oz a day on top of feeding her 24/7. She's my little piggy. In the second month I started slowing down on the pumping to twice a night ( when she wakes up at 2:30 and 6am) and pumping maybe twice during the day as well and my supply has managed to stay...luckily. Regardless, just for fun I decided to make lactation cookies to see what it did, I feel like a chipmunk storing as much as possible for winter haha. It's just so fascinating!! Coming into week 7 and 8 I feel like every things getting better, less sensitive, more of a regime and it's easier to handle, so hang in there!

Lastly, Another issue I have been dealing with, on top of breastfeeding, is major carpal tunnel (which I didn't know was actually NORMAL for pregnancy and after pregnancy!). For those who don't know what it feels like, it's like your whole hand, even forearm, have crazy frostbite. At first I thought I just was going numb due to poor blood circulation (her head laying on my arm or sleeping wrong) so I would shake my hands and roll my wrists, eventually it would pass but not because of anything I did. A week or so later my thumb, pointer, middle and half of my ring finger went so numb that I couldn't lift Pey up in the night or mornings. I would cry/panic because it hurt and felt like my fingers were just going to fall off! This made me realize that it wasn't normal so of course I turn to google for medical advice lol. After looking it up and self diagnosising, I decided to get referred to a specialist from the doctor because I can't handle it anymore! I'm currently wearing braces, which help a ton, on both my wrists at night (because that's really the only time it hurts unbearably) but they don't make it easy to function. I can't get the surgery because of the recovery time and cast so my next thing would be steroid shots, did I mention I have trigger finger too?? Ugh I'm falling apart. The shots are safe for breastfeeding and are only a temporary solution but I need to do something. I'm currently looking into DoTerra for aid as well but too scared to test it out cuz that means no brace and possible pain! Hopefully by my next update I'll have had a solution. Reading up on it,  I KNOW it was started from my labor. I specifically remember pulling back sooo hard on my legs that after each set of pushing I would have to roll my wrists from the strain. From there it just got worse from the new positions I was putting my wrists through with holding the baby.

Having said all this I came to some pointers below!

My little 8 week piggie, (and I should NOT be doing that angle with my wrist lol oops)

So my advice/ tid-bits:

- Use nipple balm right from the very start and with a proper latch you should be fine (cracked or bleeding nipples is NOT normal...get help from a lactation specialist to see if your baby is latching properly)

- You must drain your breast to help prevent infection and insure you get a proper milk supply. If they do get hard or hot...start pumping the opposite boob they are feeding on and then switch because the baby can get more milk out then the pump. I was told in my class that the baby should switch sides in the same feeding and then back to the original boob if possible. The milk towards the end of the feedings are more fatty and nutrient oriented ;)

- Feed on command!! The baby needs to suck and it will get your milk going, try to do this instead of a paci in the beginning. That's why they say no paci for the first 6 weeks! 

- Its ok if you don't feel your milk "let down" and they don't have to be hard to signal you have milk and need to pump or feed.

- When you pump you don't need it on high suction the whole time, it's best to vary it especially because you will start to develop a blood blister if you stick on high!

- One thing I've learned too is that if they get super fidgety while on the boob, they either need to burp, poop/fart or they are getting frustrated with the slow flow (which means you need to increase your milk supply or switch up your pumping if it's taking away from them). 

- If you are pumping and storing your milk, the lanisoh bags are so much better because they freeze flat, versus the medela storage bags. They are also more accurate with oz.

- Food to increase supply: Besides lots of water (I use coconut water), Oatmeal has worked for me, as well as lactation cookies. Others are carrots, ginger, spinach, salmon and hummus.
- If your bubbies are engorged and won't let down, try taking a hot shower and letting the water run on them (they told me not to do this in the hospital) my lactation specialist said if you just do it for a little or put warm compresses for 5-10min ONLY when your engorged, it will help release the milk. Don't be surprised if your a leaky faucet when you get out! haha

- Be careful of how much pressure you put on your wrists during labor and how you hold your child as well! Use your forearms instead for support and don't grab your legs with your hands to pull them back!
- TMI: Don't be surprised if for the first month to month and a half you have to gently pat your nips dry out of the shower...they get BEYOND sensitive. Holy moly!

- TMI: Last but not least...the most awkward feeling you will ever have in your life is when your baby flickers their tongue while feeding....blahhhhh. I had to ask my doctor and she said their tongue just gets strained...ha. Well you mommies out there know what I'm talking about and you soon to be mommies will approach this weird feeling soon enough! *insert spooky cackle*

All in all I love breastfeeding but it is SOOOOOOOOOOO much more work than I thought it would be, so I have great respect for the EP (exclusively pumping) ladies! It will bring you to tears some nights because that won't be enough or they seem to not want it, don't give up! If you need a source to go to for questions KellyMom is a great site to get information and great advice!

I hope I could help someone!!! Just one person! These are all my experiences and I am no expert, i'm still learning myself! Especially when it comes to eating right so they don't get upset tummies...I had no idea there was more restrictions after birth on food! Anyway, I would love to hear any TMI's or tid-bits others have learned so don't be shy to comment!

Happy Thursday!
10 comments on "Just call me "Moo" || A Breastfeeding Diary"
  1. Girlfriend, where were you and this awesome-mommy-blog when I needed you!!!! I wish I could've read something this REAL when I breastfed Dominique....I went through the same issues (except she couldn't latch very well) and everything I ate bothered her sensitive tummy, by the time I got to the breast infection I had to admit defeat- and that was the hardest part during her infancy. For real- you've just inspired a lot of new moms to keep going and I'm so proud of you! Finally someone shares the "ugly side" to the struggles of breastfeeding!!.....it ain't easy.... LOVED your post. And i love you more. xxoo

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    1. Aww thank you!! I need to look at yours! Just realized you started one too...welcome to the large club of bloggers lol ;)

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  2. Coming up on 32 weeks tomorrow actually, and already stressing slightly over trying to nurse and getting the hang of things (if that's even possible) this was SO nice to read!!! Thanks for sharing a more naturally "raw" version of all the stuff they SHOULD tell us! ;) Lol

    You and your little lady look just perfect... I am anxiously awaiting my gf to arrive come December! :) xoxo

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    1. The first two weeks you basically concentrate on healing and feeding....even longer if need be. Don't stress, 6 weeks and 8 weeks are two lights at the end of the tunnel. Just ask for help when you need it, doesn't mean you can't handle it...just means your being smart about it!

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  3. Thank you so much for your post!! It mirrors exactly what I'm going. Baby is almost 5 weeks and there are days when she feels 'light'( at least that's what my mom says) and that makes me feel she's not getting enough milk. What do you think about taking fenugreek capsules? I've tried everything you suggested and I still feel I don't have enough. Help me! Lol. :(

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    1. As long as she has her wet diapers and 2-3 poopy diapers a day she's fine. Try to weigh her by weighing yourself first without and then with her, if she's gaining weight there's no need to worry. I've heard those capsules are good but haven't taken them. If you are really concerned talk to a lactation specialist :) biggest thing is to not let it discourage you.

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  4. I'm a soon to be mommy and this post was so helpful! Your baby is so precious <3

    www.SHVETA.com

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  5. Peyton is so precious. Thanks for this post, I am expecting my first in 1 month and I am nervous about breastfeeding. I thought it was so simple but after reading the books and blogs from you girls I realize there is more to it... fingers crossed!! I am also so nervous about healing after the baby. My hubs and I are celebrating our anniversary at 4 weeks p. partum... did you find it took the whole 6 weeks to heal before being "intimate"? I'm nervous it won't be the same as pre-baby :( Also wondering if you have any recommendations for what your favourite stroller is? I have the bugaboo chameleon but thinking I want to get a collapsible lighter weight one! Thanks so much and congrats to you and your fiance!! xo

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    1. Haha sooooo it feels the same for them for sure so don't stress about that. For me, my doctor was in there a lot separating membranes which caused some irritation so it definitely was very uncomfortable/painful at 6 weeks but was a lot better by 8 weeks. It's different for everyone though because my friend said she didn't feel any pain. The only thing that changes is the outside which isn't as bad as they say (and I had an episiotomy). Still hurts a bit for me but then again it always did lol.

      As far as strollers go, I really love my bumble ride and I know they have the "flight" style which is light weight but not for newborns/infants. I feel like all strollers for infants are pretty heavy. The bumble does collapse and has two arms on the side that click on to keep it together. Only problem I have is I need a little more room on the bottom for sure! Good luck! I'm sure you'll do great!

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