Breastfeeding Troubles? You’re NOT Alone

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When Lucas was first born he didn’t immediately latch on.
He was only a few hours old and my mind was already going crazy on how I was going to make this work.
I was so passionate about breastfeeding, I didn’t want to be forced to formula feed without going through that experience first!

I heard so many stories about mothers who couldn’t breastfeed because their babies didn’t latch-I didn’t want to be like them.

So I said a little prayer and God sent me lactation consultants!
They are truly heaven sent. The two women who came to my room after I gave birth were so sweet and helpful.
Because of their assistance, on the second day at the hospital, Lucas latched on!

I was so happy I wanted to cry.

Now let me be super honest, breastfeeding looks so beautiful and magical in magazines but honey let me tell you,
if my nipples could scream, they would!

The beginning stages of new things are usually uncomfortable, this is no different.
It was a new experience we both needed to get used to.
It was a process that I later discovered served us as precious moments of bonding.
But it was truthfully very, very draining, time-consuming and there were many times when I contemplated giving up.

There were days where I wouldn’t produce a lot of milk and I would panic because I thought he wasn’t getting enough to eat.
The thought of your baby not receiving the proper nutrition or not being satisfied can be very overwhelming for a mother. I learned how important it is to remain calm and NOT stress. The baby can pick up on all that negativity!
Your body is amazing and believe it or not will produce just enough for your baby.

As we know, breastfeeding has MANY benefits for both mom and baby.

Benefits for mom:

  • Burn calories
  • Helps with the “snap back” of your uterus
  • It helps reduce the chance of breast cancer
  • Lowers risk of ovarian cancer
  • Saves you time and money because you have it wherever you go- No need to go to the store and buy it.
  • For SOME women like me, it delays your period! (Which doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant, but it does mean you can save money on not having to buy pads and tampons!)

Benefits for baby:

  • The most natural way of receiving nutrition
  • Steady weight gain
  • Contributes to the building of a strong immune system
  • Lowers the risk of allergies

This is not to say that if you decide to formula feed or exclusively pump, you’re a bad mom- Absolutely NOT.
I was a formula fed baby and I developed perfectly normal with very minor health issues.
I also have many mama friends who have chosen that route and their babies are perfect.
Every mom should do what works best for them, their babies and their lifestyles.

For the record, I am a breastfeeding AND bottle feeding mama.
Three weeks after I gave birth to Lucas I had to return to school being that I had already been attending classes for a month prior to him coming. So, two times out of the week I would be away from him for about five hours. With that said, I started pumping early on.

I use the awesome Medela Pump in Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump.
It is very effective and does its job well.

For bottles, I use Tommee Tippee Advanced Anti-Colic Newborn Bottle Set.

Lucas is now about to turn seven months old and he is still breastfeeding, bottle feeding AND is being introduced to solids! Click here to read on how I meal prep for him.

Here are a few things that really helped me throughout this breastfeeding process and may help you:

  • Eating well and eating a lot
    Just like pregnancy, you are still eating for two. You NEED the extra nutrients.
    Be mindful of what you are consuming and stick to healthy foods.
  • Staying hydrated
    I can’t tell you how many times I went out, didn’t bring a water bottle with me and then suffered the consequences of a major headache due to dehydration AND not being able to produce a lot of milk when pumping. Water AND food are literally your BEST FRIENDS when breastfeeding and pumping.
  • Latching as much as possible
    Latching your baby as much as possible helps substantially because it’s stimulating the body to continue producing.
  • Latching and pumping at the same time
    This trick helps me so much. I mainly do this at night when I’m most relaxed, during bedtime feedings. I feed the baby on one breast and attach the pump to the other. You’ll be surprised how much the stimulation of the baby drinking from the other breast helps this process.
  • Not stressing ABOUT ANYTHING
    The effects of stress are so real ladies. I had to learn this the hard way. Throughout the semester there were days that I would stress over assignments or tests and those were the days that were the hardest for me to produce. Or in the beginning when I naturally wasn’t producing much, stressing only made it worse. Just keep calm, for your sake and for your baby who senses all of that.

Breastfeeding can be very challenging but it is extremely rewarding. I encourage every woman who wishes to go the breastfeeding route and finds themselves stuck, to continue pushing forward, you are not alone! You can do this! Our bodies were created for it!

xoxo

Want to know how I found out I was pregnant? Check out My Encounter With Motherhood post.

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