Leah's Breastfeeding Experience

Posted by  | Tuesday, November 27, 2007  at 12:51 AM  

I hadn’t given a lot of thought to breastfeeding before Samuel came. I thought that I would breastfeed because it seemed the natural thing to do. I asked some moms what it was like and if they had any advice for me. Two of my neighbors said that it was painful for the first two weeks, but then it got better. Another friend told me to use Lanolin from the very beginning to help avoid cracking. The only other breastfeeding info I had was from reading Babywise (which isn’t even really about breastfeeding!). I knew that I was supposed to ask to nurse Samuel right away, but after he was born, I was too timid to push for it. I just asked a few times and they kept telling me as soon as I got to my next room I could nurse. I had the nurse help me get him started. She gave me the paper I was supposed to fill out each time I nursed and when Samuel had a wet/dirty diaper. Each time I was ready to nurse Samuel I paged for a nurse to come in and help me. I also brought the Lanolin cream with me and used it each time. I didn’t get to see the lactation consultant until I was ready to leave the hospital, but I was sure to have a nurse with me each time I started to feed Samuel – to help if I was doing something wrong, and to help build my confidence. I nursed on one side at a time because that’s what the first nurse told me to do. I also tried to feed Samuel every 2 hours. The nurse said I should be nursing every 3 hours, but I decided to try every 2 hours because sometimes it took so long to get him to wake up and eat (& he was a little guy – just 5#13). I received a little nursing guide in one of the formula diaper bags they give you (which is so ironic to me!) and I read it all the time. I was very blessed to have a smooth nursing relationship with Samuel. We successfully breastfed for 13 months until he weaned himself (mostly due to my second pregnancy).

All of this is to say that I sort of fell into being a breastfeeding mom/advocate. It wasn’t until after Samuel was about a month or two that I became more passionate about breastfeeding. I love to read about it and help other moms in their efforts to breastfeed. But I certainly didn’t start out as that person, and so I try to keep that in mind as I talk with other new or soon-to-be moms. In the first month of Samuel’s life, I would sit down at the computer and write out advice I had for nursing moms – things others had shared with me that worked or things I learned on my own. I now give that list and a nursing tank top at any baby shower I go to. Here is the list if you are interested: Leah's Advice on Nursing

Also, here is my list of breastfeeding resources that I have found helpful:

*Thomas Hale's Medications & Mother's Milk
*My local La Leche League (I was honestly a little nervous the first time I went b/c I had heard that everyone there was a freak - but I really loved the group I was involved with and the leader was great. This can be a great resource and also a great opportunity to share Christ's love with others).
*Breastfeeding.com has great instructional videos.

Oh, and although this week is about breastfeeding, I do have one thing to share with mom's who bottlefeed (which I guess could still be breastmilk in a bottle, duh!) - be sure to switch which side you put your baby on when you bottlefeed. For example, don't always cradle your baby in your left arm - alternate between left and right. This will help your baby's vision and muscle development and will stimulate both sides of baby's brain.


Shannon said...

Ladies, I need some advice. I bf my oldest until she weaned herself at 8 mo., due to my 2nd pregnancy. If I'd had a good pump at the time, I would have continued giving her breast milk.

She's 18 mo. old now, and it just occurred to me how much better the breast milk would have been for her. She's on soymilk 3times a day now, and I now have extra milk, b/c I'm pumping at least once a day, besides nursing my youngest every 3 hours. (When my milk came in this time, it REALLY came in!!) I'm thinking about using some of the extra milk to give to my oldest, maybe once a day.

The pediatrician suggested moving to regular milk at one year of age, so it never occurred to me that I could still give her breast milk. What do you think? Would you do it?

Thanks In Advance,

Krista said...

I would DEFINITELY give her your breast milk! That is the best thing she could drink. Also, please check out the links on soy that I posted in my breast feeding story. I think you'll find them very interesting.

What a great way to use your extra milk!!!

Mallory & Amy Gabriel said...

I'm writing to ask for any advice/tips on traveling with an infant (8 weeks) and breastfeeding. We will be flying and then driving by car over the next month. Did you ladies have better luck driving through the night and hoping they slept all the way or stopping often in the day?

Also, do you think it's safe to pack the breast pump (Medela Pump In Style) in a checked bag of luggage? Would it get damaged?

The Kulzer's said...

I have a ton of experience driving with a newborn and breastfeeding. I HATE flying and I miss my family so about every 4 months I take the 10 hour drive home. I have been doing this since my oldest with a baby. I have also breastfed all three of my children for a year. I have found it is much easier to just take a longer ride up one day. I have tried the through the night stuff, but I find I am so tired about the time I arrive I never seem to catch up on sleep. I originally thought- I can just sleep when I get there- I was wrong. Not only do you have to wake up a lot to nurse, sometimes my babies would notice the different surroundings and not sleep as well; therefore, I got less sleep. I also wanted to be awake when my family was, because that is why I went there to begin with. I have found that if you leave on a Thursday or Friday, traffic isn't so bad. I stop whenever I need to nurse (while on that stop I always take the kids and myself to the bathroom because there is nothing worse than your little one falling asleep only to wake them up when you have to go to the bathroom.) I know it may take a lot longer but I just feel that I keep my kids safer if I drive through the day and let my body have proper rest.
I always have lots for my older kids to do, lullabys on hand (sometimes I think they like a little soothing music of their own while riding), treats and so on. I have made this drive hundreds of times and many times by myself (I go home for about a month and my husband stays and works). I feel now I have it down to a science. I also recommend you plan your route thoroughly. Make sure there is always somewhere clean and safe to stop about every two hours just incase you need too!

Shannon said...

Krista, thanks! And I have been reading your links about soy; that's what got me thinking... thanks for all the info.

Traveling Mama...
My husband and i have done extensive worldwide traveling, and I would suggest taking the pump with you on the plane. I know extra things to carry is a hassle, but if the pump were lost or damaged, you'd be without it at your destination. If you decide to check it, I'd at least bring a hand pump on the flight.

We travelved this weekend, and I was hesitant about taking my Medela Pump In Style, but I'm so glad I did. My little one was extra sleepy, and left me having to pump in order not to be uncomfortably full. Plus, grandparents were then able to give her milk in a bottle, which made them feel special.

Just my thoughts.

Christy said...

I have a six week old and we took our first car trip last weekend. I don't know how long your trip is and I'm sure that makes a difference. Ours was 4 hours. I just fed her right before we left and she slept the whole time. We stopped just before we got there so she would be fed and ready to play with grandparents when we got there. We just pulled over into a church parking lot and my husband brought her around to me. I had a nursing cover handy just in case I needed it. My husband changed her diaper in the back seat and we were on our way.

She did the same thing on the way home as well. Though she is normally a good sleeper, she doesn't normally sleep that much. Our theory is that being in the car soothes her.

Hopefully your experience will be just as good.

Christina said...

When we have flown while nursing, I always took my manual pump (I have a Medela Harmony - about $30 at Target). For the occasional pumping this worked great. Do you pump exclusively? If so the manual is obviously not going to be enough, then YES take the big Medela but I wouldn't not risk checking that puppy. :) They're expensive!!!

I don't think we ever drove as far as 10 hours with a nursing infant...maybe 5 and usually during the day. Good luck with the traveling! If you plan ahead - you'll be fine!

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