Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This One's For the Girls

I don't think a lot of guys read my blog, but if you're a guy and you're still reading, this post isn't really for you. Also, unless you're a mom, this post probably really isn't for you. So stop reading. :)

If you're still reading, here's the current source of my anxiety. I didn't breastfeed either Adam or Alex (Adam wasn't into it, and my schedule with Alex wouldn't have permitted it), but I really want to try breastfeeding this time around. I wish I could say it was for the right reasons, like supposedly being better for the baby, but I'll be honest - it's not. My somewhat selfish reasons for wanting to breastfeed are:

1. It's cheaper.
2. I feel like I have something to prove to myself - that I can breastfeed.
3. I have no good excuses not to.

I really want to succeed, but I'm already starting to have anxiety about it, and I know that the more uptight I am about it, the harder it's going to be. So to help easy my anxiety, I need tips from moms who've been there. I'm mostly worried about the emotional aspects of breastfeeding: feeling so needed all the time, having to sit still long enough to actually feed the baby, etc.

Here's what I've done so far:

1. Set up a glider in the nursery, facing into the room with the back to the door. I'm hoping this will help me focus on what I'm doing and not on everything else going on in the house. (But I can keep the door open so I'm still approachable if a kid needs me.)
2. Used credit card reward points to order a new iPod Nano. The plan is to make a playlist of songs that either calm me or put me in a happy mood. I'm hoping this will take the focus off how much time I've spent feeding the baby. (I have serious issues with feeling like I'm doing nothing for any length of time.)
3. Signed up for a breastfeeding class which was supposed to be tonight but got postponed to the 28th. (I now get to spend my birthday in a breastfeeding class. Yay.)

Now I just need tips, tricks, and encouragement from those of you who've been through it, and then we'll see how this goes.


Kris said...

I can't give much advice being that I only nursed for about a month or so, but a few things helped me when I was nursing.

First off, comfort was a huge thing for me. I didn't nurse well at the beginning because I was always so tense trying to get a good position. The lactation consultant that worked with me suggested getting the EZ 2 nurse pillow instead of the typical bobby or breastfriend pillows. The EZ 2 nurse pillow is much larger and is actually used by those who have twins. It was SUCH a life safer. It was so comfortable and allowed me to then focus on more important things such as the latch.

Lastly, the football hold worked the best for me at the beginning. Once both of you get use to nursing, you can try out other positions, but the football hold was suggested to me by several people (including the lactation consultant that worked with me) and it worked well.

Good luck Andrea! has a lot of great information on breastfeeding. Check it out!

Fountaine's said...

I nursed Austin for 6 months and Chance for about 18 months. I loved it!!! The bonding experience was one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced. I will always cherish those memories with my babies.

Some of the things that helped me was not to get too frusterated if it doesn't seem to go as you planned at the begining. Austin had a hard time latching on at first but Chance had no problems at all. Remeber it's a natural thing and next thing you know it will be easy as pie, and since it's a boy it's in there nature (ha ha). And make yourself comfortable. I used the boppy and loved it, I used the football hold alot with Chance, or I would lay in bed on my side with them next to me. Stay relaxed and use the time for unwinding a little. It does have it's conviences like not have to mix or heat up a bottle while the kid screams like they haven't been feed for days.

Unknown said...

I have serious issues with sitting still too long as well, and I finally just had to learn that this was natures way of telling me to stop and smell the roses. I nursed Jocelyn for a year and I think for people with tense personalities (like me) the relaxation is a big issue. If you're tense, the letdown is slow and then you've got a cranky baby on your hands! 2nd words of advice, don't plan on wearing any layers whatsoever... and thirdly, get or make one of those nursing covers that has the boning in the top so you can see the baby still. I used only a blanket for about a week before I made one and it was the best thing ever for nursing when you're out and about. The breastfeeding classes help a lot too, but don't let them overwhelm you. Good luck!

Jami said...

I enjoyed breastfeeding all of my kids, but of course it was really difficult with Xander, since he was in the NICU for so long. But I pumped like a mad woman while he was in there so that I could nurse him when he came home.

Like Kris said, comfort is a big thing. Make sure you are in a comfortable spot. I also made sure that I always had a good book that I really wanted to read, and then I would save it for when I was nursing (it was like my little reward for sitting there feeding the baby)! :) Also, drinking lots of fluids was a big thing for me because I tend to not drink as much as I need.

With Xander my milk did not come in as well as with the others, so I finally talked to my doctor about it and she put me on a medication that really helped. But it also made me really sleepy, so I only took 1/2 of a pill instead of a full one. But it did help. I also learned how to nurse lying down so that I could get some rest (never really SLEPT but at least rested my body, eyes and mind) for awhile while he/she was eating.

Good luck with it, and just try and relax because it's what God intended for you to do. You'll do great!!!

I can't wait for your delivery!! I'm seriously excited. Email and let me know if there are any specific shots you want or anything that you want me to keep in mind or anything that you want me to do. It's all your call! :)

Amelia said...

Hey Andrea!

I hope my advice helps. I never nursed Braden because he was in the NICU, but I nursed Mylee for 9 months and I am in my 6th month for Alice (still counting!) My Nintendo DS. Now I know this not like the other advice you have so far, but it keeps my mind sane! Especially at night when I am falling asleep (from getting up so often), I have the BrainQuest game and that totally helps me relax! (and helps the time pass faster)

Someone mentioned a cover - GET ONE! really! It saves a lot of stress from covering up in public (mines called a Hooter Hider!)

Dont stress about it - it will come to you and your little baby - promise!!! Good luck!

ps just get through the first two weeks and then it is a cinch!

Rebecca and Nick said...

wow, looks like you've got a lot of good advice! I nursed Owen for a full 12 months, and that's because he hated the taste of formula. seriously spit it out every time. I really think it helped that a lactation consultant came in right after birth and pretty much started milking me to get it to come in quick. Not that I liked it, but it helped get me going. And you will be surprised at how you can learn to multitask while breastfeeding. I actually read a really good article on it today at the dr. office. Don't remember what magazine it was in, but you can always check email and read one handed. It will become second nature. The first couple weeks will definitely be the hardest, so stick it out the best you can. And don't stress about it. If it's something you really want to do, you can do it. I never really enjoyed it, just did it because it was my job, and I always made a TON on milk. And you can save a ton of money!

Hang out with other breastfeeding moms if you know any. It helps to see how they manage especially in public places. Nick's sisters are pros. It's really amazing. Good luck!

Tyson and Christy said...

Hey Andrea I nursed Hayley and Jaxon for a year because I had too! Hayley would not take formula and Jaxon could not take a bottle because of his tongue. It was really frustrating at first and I really wanted to give up.

I had to use a nipple shield with both of my kids. It is discouraged to use one for too long but I used it for four months with Hayley and two months with Jaxon. If the baby is having a hard time latching because your nipples are inverted it really helps to have a nipple shield.

Go the the breastfeeding class at the hospital after you have the baby. Don't be shy with the lactation specialist you have to just let her get right in there and she will be able to help.

Feeding in public is a pain at first but it does get easier. Nursing in general is really frustrating at first but if you stick with it it gets better.

P.S. The really selfish reason I nursed was to help take the baby weight off. It really does work, if you are working out and nursing!!

Good luch I hope it all works out for you.

Brooks Nelson said...

I am with you. I didn't nurse either of my kids. I tried with Kylie but because she was in the NICU for so long and because of her intestinal problems it just didn't work out. With Kody I had such a bad experience trying with Kylie that I had no desire to try it with Kody.

But what I did learn in trying is this....When you go to your class, just relax and listen to what they say but keep in mind it's you that gets to decide how you want to do it. Don't let them tell you what to do. Relaxing is such an important part. That was part of my problem with Kylie. I had so many people standing around me telling me what to do that I couldn't relax.
Also, I found that when we give Kylie a bottle she did worse on nursing the next time. She got Lazy. She figured out that the bottle was easier and so then she didn't want to nurse.

Good Luck! I can't wait to see the newest memeber of the family!

Becca said...

The advice you've already gotten is good, so I'll just add my encouragement. It's awesome that you want to try it. If it works, it's an incredibly relaxing, bonding time with your baby. If it doesn't, remember, it REALLY is not a reflection of your aptitude as a mother. My first was a very frustrating experience, and it took me a while to accept that giving up didn't make me a failure in any way. Number 2 was born hungry and stayed that way. I've never known you to not accomplish anything you put your mind to, but either way, you're an awesome mom, and your children adore you, and Dillon will too.

Karen said...

You've definitely gotten alot of great advice. I nursed each of my 3 girls over a year and I plan on going at least that far or longer with my boy. I am also hoping to become IBCLC certified within a couple I have alot of passion for the subject of breastfeeding! :) Feel free to ask me any questions, anytime! I had a REALLY hard time with my first and up and downs with the others, so I know that with alot of support it's possible.

Ross Family said...

well I did not nurse my first two either and I am determined to make it work with Deklan, so it has been almost three weeks and with only a few days here and there where he hasn't wanted to nurse, it's been great. I'm not going to lie though, it hurts like crazy for the first few days! but all in all I will continue to breastfeed until he gets teeth... I draw the line at the biting of the boobs!!! haha! good luck! can't wait to see him!

Nichole Bowler said...

I haven't checked your blog in a long time! By now, you've already had your breastfeeding class and learned all you need to know. You've also been given a lot of great advice here. I just had one thing to add...breastfeeding is not easy. It may take a few days, maybe even a week or two to get it down. Don't give up. The important thing is to just keep it going. If you are serious about breastfeeding, don't get frustrated and give him a bottle (at least for the first week or so) it will just make things worse for you. If you keep working at it, it will eventually come.
I love your reasons...those sound like my reasons for nursing. We can't afford formula. I nurse until they are 12 months and can go straight to milk in a cup. It does make you feel strapped down sometimes, but if you have a good pump and your baby will take a bottle after awhile, that will help.