Sunday, March 24, 2013

breast friends: my breastfeeding experience part 1

I've been meaning to write about my experience with breastfeeding.
So here goes...

I like to research things before I do them. ...Have my ducks in a row. I worked in the ER for 5 years. The doctors/nurses said I was exposed to so much working there that I would give my future baby so many wonderful antibodies if I breastfed. I took them up on their advice. I'd also heard how hard breastfeeding is and that it hurts. So you better believe I wanted to know the ins and outs before I started it!

I read 2 books about breastfeeding:
1. So That's What They're For (I HIGHLY recommend. Easy and FUNNY to read!)
2. The ABC's of Breastfeeding

I borrowed these from a friend who is a breastfeeding guru!

I went to some Le Leche League meetings while I was pregnant. The mom I was talking about (see above statement) is a LLL leader. They are free meetings (you can join and be a member too). Now these people are passionate about breastfeeding. They bring their nurslings with them and I got to see lots of breastfeeding live in person!

I went to a conference. Well, it was at the hospital in which I work so it counted for work. It was focused on how low income families need support as well as the new federal laws. It is a federal law that employers must provide time to pump at work, a clean/private place to pump, and a place to store the pumped milk. I learned all about it!

I joined a local facebook group of breastfeeding mothers.

I found a pediatrician that was a lactation consultant. It is not uncommon for babies to lose 10% of their birth weight after birth. It is also not uncommon for it to take babies 2 weeks to gain their birth weight back. I wanted a doctor that would encourage breastfeeding, not formula, if that happened and keep me calm!

I visited a lot. It is evidenced-base information about breastfeeding and other things. Since I work for a hospital, I like to know if what I am doing has been researched and is the best thing for my baby!

As you can tell, I wanted to surround myself with resources before I started this journey. I wanted to make sure there was no way I could fail at this. I made sure to tell Kyle all that I learned since he would be my biggest cheerleader. I forget the percentages, but if your partner is a breastfeeding supporter, the chances of breastfeeding lasting goes up by a lot. I told him he could not let me give up.

So...from all my research, I learned that there are many types of nipples: regular, flat or inverted. There is a test to see what kind you have. Lucky me....I have one regular and one flat. Then I researched flat nipples. I learned that they are no fun and I was about to have a very challenging experience.

Sorry for the grammar....
But this was true for me but it's not true for everyone. Everyone has different experiences and pain levels. Breast feeding is not supposed to hurt. If it truely hurts, there is usually a problem. I've ran a marathon, had a baby, and passed a kidney stone. Breastfeeding was much more painful that any of those! I say that because I felt there was no end in sight. With a marathon, I knew it'd be over soon. Same with labor and the kidney stone.

But I have good news to share! I survived! After the fact, I learned that some people with flat nipples pump to draw it out. Some people wear nipple shields to help. Me, on the other hand, did none of those things. I did wear a shield the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy but didn't want to use it while breastfeeding. I think if I would have used the shield or pumped earlier, I would've had a different story. So if you have flat's ok! There is hope that you won't have to go through what I did.

To be continued.....


  1. Glad you're sharing your experience!!

    (I love that first ecard and the second is so true!)

    1. Emily-I think I could write a blog just on breastfeeding alone! There is nothing "natural" about it! ha!! I need to write part 2, and 3, and 4...haha!!