I want to start by saying that I hate mom shaming so I’m not about to start doing that. I know some mom’s can’t produce milk or some babe’s won’t take breastmilk; feeding babies is so unpredictable. Our plan was always breastfeeding; I say plan lightly because I was open to doing whatever it took to make sure my baby was receiving proper nourishment, including using formula.
I was one of the lucky ones. Kailani came out and went right to the breast. I still utilized my birth center’s lactation consultant but she gave us two thumbs up. I know I am lucky because it doesn’t always come this easily. K had a great latch, I was producing milk for weeks before she arrived, and my supply stayed up.
There have been some hard times though. We have survived growth spurts, mastitis, clogged ducts, and teeth to name a few challenges. Really, I think what it came down to for us(I say this about my birth too) is trusting my body to do what it needs to do. I can’t describe those first few feeds other than by saying that it just felt like our bodies were in sync. It’s beautiful, scary, painful, and joyful all at the same time.
I get asked a lot of questions about breastfeeding and this was one of my most highly requested posts so let’s get into the good stuff:
Q: What did you do to prepare for breastfeeding?
A: I read. A lot. Lots of Kelly Mom and the pamphlets our birth center provided. I felt well supported this way and still use Kelly Mom to answer my random questions that emerge. I feel like Kelly Mom is my breastfeeding bible. I also stocked up on nursing tanks, bras, nipple balm, a Boppy, etc. Basically all of the things Pinterest said I needed and I can tell you right now I didn't need or use most of it. I really only used my nursing bras and one balm during those first weeks. The “extras” were not needed and I felt like they were just in the way(although I will say I sat on my Boppy the first week after giving birth so that one wasn’t completely useless lmao). I’ll link my favorites at the end!
Q: Is it scary breastfeeding in public?
A: It used to be, but not anymore. I went from being the mom who would go to her car to feed, to using a nursing cover, to openly feeding. Babies are hungry when they’re hungry and they deserve to eat too. It’s no different than pulling a snack out of my purse and eating except in this case I am the snack and K is doing the eating. There’s no shame in our breastfeeding game!
Q: Did you change your diet for breastfeeding?
A: Not really! I definitely have increased my calorie intake to account for what’s lost during breastfeeding and I am more mindful of what I eat but really I eat the same. I try and eat healthy, especially now that we are doing baby led weaning but I think the only real change I made was increasing my water and calories.
Q: What surprised you most about breastfeeding?
A: SO MUCH! I am constantly surprised by how much I love breastfeeding even when I hate it. I also never expected to have to wear nursing pads 24/7(LOL), to be so comfortable exposing myself on the regular, or to have such a strong bond with Kailani because of it.
Q: Is Kailani EBF(exclusively breastfed)?
A: Sort of. She is primarily breastfed with the occasional bottle of pumped milk when I am out of the house(I have the Lansinoh SmartPump for those who’ve asked). Now that we are integrating BLW, she is only breastfeeding a couple times per day which I will add that it is very bittersweet to see our breastfeeding journey coming in an end.
Q: How long will you breastfeed for?
A: I plan on going for a year but if she decides we are done before or after that mark, I’m okay with that too. I feel like we will both know when the time’s right.
I am always happy to talk about breastfeeding and motherhood in general. Being a mom isn’t easy nor is it fun to feel like you’re in it alone/no one gets it. My DMs are always open to chat and answer questions.