I’ve been pump free for one month and 29 days (to be exact) and I’ve had a lot of time to think and “adjust” to life without worrying about:
“When do I need to pump next?”
“Where’s my power cord?
“Where’s my bra?”
Breastfeeding is by far the most demanding “job/task” I ever had to do. Sure, there were times when I wanted to give up because I had a blocked milk duct or especially when Sophia went on her nursing strike. But I figured this may only be my one chance to BF for a whole year, so why not do it? Plus there are so many benefits to nursing your child.
So yes, I did it. My goodness, I felt like Rocky after he climbed up all those steps. It don’t regret it one bit.
A few of my friends, who are now mommies or are mommies-to-be, asked me questions about BF/pumping so I figured I’d share what I’ve learned in my year long commitment.
These may be random, but I think think every mommy or mommy-to-be should know:
10. Breastfeeding is painful. For the first two weeks, I bit my lips, grasped the arms of my glider, and practiced deep breathing exercises to help ease the pain of Sophia latching on to nurse. I also was an “invert” and needed a shield. I don’t think this was a reason why I experienced so much pain because when I’ve asked mommies who weren’t inverted and they said the same thing- OUCH!!
9. Your baby is “The Boss.” He/she rules the roost, especially if you’re breastfeeding exclusively. It’s quite the adjustment but also a learning experience for both you and baby.
8. Dressing rooms are great locations to nurse. Macy’s dressing rooms were my favorite; they are pretty large and noisy!
7. If you pump, I highly recommend this bra, Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bustier. Snooki was seen talking about this in one of her episodes of Snooki and JWoww. Wearing this allowed me to multi-task, especially while driving and at work.
This is a must!
6. Using these were a lifesaver!
5. If you pump, your countertop will look like a science lab due to the abundance of the bottles, lids, breast shields, and adapters. Andrew was beyond excited when he could finally see our countertop again!
4. Breastfeeding/pumping helped me drop my prego. weight. You can read all about how I lost 20 lbs in 6 months with the help of Weight Watchers and breastfeeding by viewing this post. I can now say breastfeeding definitely contributed to my weight loss because since I stopped, I’ve noticed the scale has been playing some mean tricks on me! I’ve gained some weight back, but I’m at the weight I was before I was pregnant. I guess you can say that’s my “normal” weight.
3. Download the iBabyFeed App. This lifesaving app. allows you to document when you feed the baby and from which breast. You can also use this app. for bottle feedings.
Trust me, this app. will keep you sane!
2. Your insurance company may cover your breast pump!! I was not aware of the The Affordable Care Act, prior to Sophia. Some insurance companies allow you to purchase one new pump, per pregnancy.
This last one is lengthy but I feel it’s the most important*
1. Be prepared to go on an emotional roller coaster with hills, loops, twists, and turns! This is one aspect of the whole BF journey I wish I knew more about. As any mommy or mommy-to-be knows, your hormones change dramatically when you first become pregnant, hill # 1. All throughout pregnancy, you experience some twists and turns- some will even make you want to hurl (likely for me- crackers and ginger ale worked wonders). After your bundle of joy has arrived, you experience the “loop-de-loops” of crying out of pure happiness because you’ve been blessed with such a beautiful gift, or just plain cry because, well.. you just don’t know (happened so often). Once you start BF, it’s like you’re on the straight away on the coaster- just cruising and waiting for the next drop. Well, that can be when your baby starts solids for the first time. Since you are now supplementing food with milk, you’re production may start to decrease <- drop # 1. The deeper drop that leads to the “upside down-loop-de-loop” may come when your baby decides he/she doesn’t want to nurse anymore (this does not happen with all babies- just my experience with Sophia). This is what we call a “nursing strike” and you can read all about that experience in this previous entry. If you continue to bf/pump after a nursing strike, it’s like the straight away that leads to the end of the coaster. You’re slowly recovering from the upside down loop-de-loop. Finally, when you and your baby have decided you’ve had enough, you will then experience the motions/emotions of the hills, twists, and turns and begin to contemplate on whether or not the roller coaster was awesome and you want to do it again, or never, ever will you go on it, again.
I can say after the carrying out the most demanding, year long commitment I’ve ever had to endure, I plan to breastfeed the future lil’ Nikolas. However, I don’t know if being able to keep up with it for a full year is possible. I guess I’ll have to see when that time comes.
What do you think every mommy or mommy-to-be should know about breastfeeding?
As a mommy-to-be what do you want to know about breast feeding?