Nursing was one of my mommy goals from the time I started thinking about life with Bean…around the second trimester. I read about a lot of mom’s experiences and talked to friends that decided for or against breastfeeding. It didn’t become a reality for me until I began seeing milk expressed while I was in the shower (during my third trimester). Once I realized what was happening…and then got over the shock… I realized there was a good chance I would be able to breastfeed (not everyone’s reality).
My first few days in the hospital, I was producing colostrum, but not enough to keep Bean’s glucose levels stable so I had to make the choice to supplement with formula. I was devastated. Yes, I was happy there was an option to feed my baby, but disappointed I wasn’t able to nourish him sufficiently. The second night, my milk came in and overjoyed would be an understatement. I eagerly pumped before leaving the hospital (because my pump hadn’t arrived due to Bean’s early arrival). I just wanted to see how much milk could come out…four bottles later, I was convinced this wasn’t a fluke. We’ve got milk!
By the second day at home, I was singing a different tune…there was more milk than appetite. It was a crazy amount…too much, even for Bean’s huge appetite. My breasts got bigger and bigger…and hard as a ROCK! I could see veins that I had never seen before and I was soaking through nursing pads, bras, and clothes. I didn’t want to leave the house…but I did…dressed in all black (like the omen). Thanks to YouTube videos, I learned how to massage and express milk to ease the discomfort. I also invested in better nursing pads…major key.
My pump came and I started my milk stash and made bottles so Bean’s Dad could join in those late night feeding sessions. Yes, nipple confusion is real (reference 1 month update), but risking the chance was worth some rest and my sanity.
With all that said, let me answer some questions according to my experience…
Does breastfeeding hurt? No, it doesn’t hurt…except when my greedy Bean initially munches like it’s his favorite snack before suckling. Other than that…it’s painless. During the first few days, I could feel my uterus shrinking…contracting, but that’s a discomfort I embrace because…SNAPBACK!
Cracked, bleeding nipples? No, I’ve had sore nipples, but that’s to be expected with a greedy…I mean…hungry little one. I’ve read that leaving breast milk on the nipples helps with dryness and chafing. So far, so good…but I’ll update you if something changes.
Are you drinking alcohol? I’ve reintroduced the occasional drink after one month of breastfeeding. I pump and use alcohol test strips after waiting 6-8 hours for a glass of wine just to make sure I’m not passing alcohol to Bean. If the discomfort gets to be too much (engorgement), I pump and dump. I don’t make drinking wine or any alcohol a habit because going throughout the night (6-8) hours without nursing/pumping can negatively affect my supply. While waiting for the alcohol to exit my system, we use bottles of previously pumped breastmilk.
How long will you breastfeed? I’m not sure…the goal is 6-8 months. If Bean is still interested, I’ll continue up to a year…and then it’s unlikely I’ll continue.
How’s the stash going? It’s going well, I’m putting away 5-10 oz every couple days so there’s less pressure when I return to work to feed my hungry Bean during the day.
More Questions? Leave them below or on my IG page : @specialtraci85