When it came to breastfeeding, I was in the “what if you can” category, but I want to send an important message to my fellow moms: it is okay, more than okay, if you can’t.
Some women just can’t… and that’s that. They try, they cry, they feel guilt, they are judged, they get lactation consultants, but still… nothing. And to that I say: That’s why God invented formula.
Some women share articles about the health benefits of breast milk. Is this news? We know how good it is for babies. That’s not the issue. The issue is we need to stop judging women who are doing their best, but may not be as blessed in the milk production department… or not as blessed in the latching department. Or maybe they choose not to breastfeed. It’s all good. It’s all okay. There’s room for everyone.
I can’t take credit for “there’s room for everyone”. Someone said it to me and I can’t remember who it was, but I love it. Whatever the issue… there’s room for everyone.
Now that that’s out of the way, I can tell my story.
My Breastfeeding Story
My son breastfed without issue. What worked for me? I can’t take credit. It all goes to the kid. He was a big baby when born and gained almost all his weight back while we were in the hospital, which I was told by the nurses rarely happens. I do remember being frustrated at first. It’s not like Ryder came straight to the breast no problem. It’s, of course, strange at first because you’ve never done anything like that before. The cross-cradle hold was really the position that worked best for me. Position the nipple just above the top of the baby’s top lip and drag down into his/her mouth. You can even express a little milk out of the nipple before you start feeding so the baby can sense where you are.
Now… I’m no lactation consultant. Far from it. But I do have advice.
5 Items Breastfeeding Moms Need
- Don’t do what I did and get the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow. It’s cumbersome and my son almost rolled off it in the middle of the night…one blurry, foggy, sleepless night. Get the Boppy instead! You can even use it later on when baby starts sitting up.
- Get the Itzbeen Pocket Nanny Baby Timer. You can keep track of time between feedings and diaper changes. It even reminds you of what breast you’re supposed to begin with at the beginning of a new feeding. That is, if you’re not too sleep deprived to remember to flip over the switch at the bottom of the pocket nanny.
- Get a strapless bra for pumping. You will quickly realize how magical being hands-free is.
- Get nursing pads! I like the reusable ones.
- A friend told me about this silicone milk saver and it saved me at the beginning when I was leaking everywhere out of control! No mom wants to waste milk via leaking.
While I really didn’t have a problem with nursing, pumping was another issue. I just wasn’t a good pumper and it could be incredibly frustrating. I think my frustration even sometimes got in the middle of my progress. Recently I saw a story about a woman who slipped socks over the bottles as she was pumping so she couldn’t see how much milk she was getting. Just her not being able to see her progression, and possibly get frustrated, helped! A successful pumping session! What’s that like? Haha.