I was recently asked by my boss to submit a fact that “no one knows about you.” Don’t you hate that question? It’s especially hard for me because when you get to know me, I’m an open book and oversharing is my middle name. Some may even call it TMI so today’s post is allllll about TMI on a topic that I haven’t covered on The Bay Blonde and since August in Breast feeding awareness month, let’s talk about it:
First let me say that I firmly believe that fed is best when it comes to your baby so whether you’re breast feeding or formula feeding, you’re doing great! Before giving birth, every woman that I spoke to regarding breast feeding had little to nothing nice to say about it. My sister, on the other hand, thought it was the greatest thing on planet earth. She breastfed both of her babies for a year. A year! She deserves a gold star and a Range Rover for that! Honestly, I was a little unsure if I would be one of those people that would breast feed. It all seemed overwhelming, emotionally exhausting, painful and frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, it is all of those things, but it’s also the most rewarding and proud feeling I’ve ever felt.
I’m not here to bash breast feeding or glorify it. I’m here to be honest about it and to share what has helped Dawson and I be successful. Since August is National Breast Feeding Awareness month, I’m partnering with Walmart to share several products that has made breast feeding a more positive experience for us.
Some would say that my journey has been easy or that I’m lucky to have a baby that latched and we have had little to no issues with it, however, I don’t believe that anyone has an “easy” breast feeding journey. My daughter has been exclusively breastfed since the day she was born. I sat proudly in the hospital bed with the lactation consultant by my side as she latched successfully the first time. Day 2 was a different story. People told me “it gets better after the first 2 weeks.” 2 weeks later….still painful. SIX weeks was the magic number for us, and even still my nipples (sorry there’s no other word for nipple) get sore- nothing like the beginning, but let’s just say I keep my back to the showerhead at all times. To help combat the soreness I use the Lansinoh Lanolin and these nipple covers. I wear the nipple covers 24/7 under my nursing bra so I don’t leak directly into my bra or shirt. I used the disposable version in the early days, but have switched to the more environmentally friendly washable covers.
It’s natural to feel awkward. Wait, what? Finding a position that works best for you and your baby can be awkward until you get in your groove. We tried several positions to begin with, but ultimately we are the most comfortable using the boppy pillow in the position shown below. I hold her across my stomach – belly button to belly button.
Dawson still sleeps in our room right now for convenience and to be honest, I’m not sure when we’ll transition her to her room. She sleeps in the Halo Bassinet next to our bed and I love the way it swivels, moves up and down and has a sidewall that easily lowers making it easy to lift her in and out. I also love that the sides are mesh, so I can easily look over to check on her.
Along with breastfeeding, I’m also pumping the leftovers using the Medela pump and have zero complaints about it. There was a bit of a learning curve so I highly recommend taking your pump to the hospital to let the lactation nurse show you how to use it. Luckily, my sister had the same one so she was able to show me the ins and outs. I have a designated “pumping station” in our living room where the pump stays at all times. Chris loves the background noise while he’s watching tv ;). I use the Lansinoh freezer bags to stow away my milk in the freezer for when I go back to work.
The best purchase I made while I was in the hospital was the the Haaka silicone hand pump. I use this on the breast that she isn’t feeding on to catch the milk. I have gotten most of my storage from this hand pump. It is a MUST if you plan on or are currently breast feeding. It’s also great for traveling short distances or short periods of time if you don’t want to bring your entire pumping system.
I don’t have many tips on increasing your milk supply, but I’ve been drinking lots of water and eating these lactation cookies. I don’t know how well they actually work, but they taste so delicious, I buy them in bulk.
For the 3 bottles she has had in her life, we’ve been using the Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow bottles. These bottles help to reduce colic, spit-up, burping and gas. Once I go back to work, we will send these to daycare with her.
Finally, I’m sure you’ve seen the infamous grass bottle drying rack. I must admit I was skeptical of this eye sore counter accessory but it’s a brilliant invention that I wish I had thought of. All of the parts that come along with pumping and bottles fit so nicely and dry quickly on this rack.
While I wasn’t sure we were going to get through those first weeks of breast feeding, I’m proud of myself for sticking it out. It’s also very convenient to be able to feed her at the drop of a hat as long as I’m near, not to mention, it’s FREE! I’m not sure how long I’ll continue breast feeding – we take it day by day, but I’m thankful that it’s 2019 and there are products to help ease the journey a little more. Walmart is celebrating National Breast Feeding Awareness month by offering discounts on lots of baby products – from bottles to furniture and everything in between. You can view all of the items here.
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